DULUTH — The case against a 17-year-old Duluth homicide suspect will remain on hold while he undergoes a mental health evaluation.
Patrick Wilson Battees Jr., of Proctor, Minn., is accused of fatally shooting 22-year-old Juamada Keller Anderson Jr. during a fight in downtown Duluth on May 22. He is charged in juvenile court with intentional second-degree murder.
Battees, who remains at Arrowhead Juvenile Center, appeared via Zoom before Judge Leslie Beiers on Thursday, June 3. Attorneys said the proceedings will remain suspended as they await the findings of an evaluation ordered after Battees' initial court appearance last week.
Psychologist Gerald Henkel-Johnson will be tasked with determining whether Battees is competent to participate in his own defense and able to understand the charges against him. While it's unclear how long that will take, Beiers granted defense attorney J.D. Schmid's request to set a review hearing for next Thursday, June 10.
According to court documents, Patrick Battees Sr. told officials that his son requires medications for schizophrenia and "can become very erratic" when he has not been taking them consistently — which he said had been the case prior to his arrest.
Battees did not speak during the brief hearing but did give a wave to the camera after his father called out, "Love you, son," at its conclusion.
Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Amy Lukasavitz filed a motion to move the case to adult court. Under Minnesota law, it is presumed a juvenile will be certified as an adult if the juvenile was 16 or 17 at the time of the offense and if the offense would result in a presumptive prison sentence.
The child can keep the case in juvenile court and overcome the presumption of adult certification only by demonstrating clear and convincing evidence that retaining the proceedings in juvenile court serves public safety.
Anderson was shot once in the head after a fight broke out among several people on the porch of an apartment building at 118 E. Third St. around 7 p.m.
Surveillance video obtained by police reportedly shows a large scrum of people moving down to the sidewalk, where Battees is allegedly seen removing a gun from his waistband and firing at Anderson, who falls to the ground, according to police reports.
Authorities said Battees, while fleeing the scene, was observed exchanging gunfire with another man, Marcus Seville Morris. He allegedly fled on foot through downtown Duluth before he was apprehended in the alley behind the Wabasha Bookstore, 114 E. First St.
Meanwhile, a .45-caliber handgun was found in a discarded couch behind Domino's Pizza, 112 E. Second St., where a witness reported seeing the teen with a gun.
Battees, who declined to speak to investigators, has previously been charged with several felony-level offenses in Minnesota and Wisconsin and had recently completed a nine-month jail sentence in Douglas County for a high-speed pursuit that was connected to a drive-by shooting in Duluth last summer.
Morris, 31, is still being sought by police on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and reckless discharge within a municipality. He allegedly gave the gun to 25-year-old Laurel Larice Ladd Jr., who has since posted bond after appearing on a charge of aiding an offender.