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Trial delayed in suspected Dollar General shooter case

Posted at 12:40 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 17:19:25-05

The trial of the man accused of shooting the Dollar General in Cheektowaga more than two years ago is being delayed.

Travis Green's attempted murder trial was scheduled to begin Monday. But, Green's attorney, Paul Dell requested a competency exam. Dell told 7 Eyewitness News his client is suffering from psychosis.

"He has refused my visits. And, when I have gone to visit him, he has lacked insight into his own mental health, and insight into the facts of the case," Dell said outside Erie County Court Monday.

According to Erie County District Attorney, John Flynn, Green has been in solitary confinement at the Erie County Holding Center since he assaulted a jail deputy shortly after his arrest. That is Holding Center policy, and requires an inmate be locked up for 23 hours a day.

However, both the defense and prosecution agreed that likely contributed to his declining mental state.

Prosecutors said Green entered the Dollar General off Union Road in Cheektowaga in November of 2017 and asked for a job application. He allegedly became upset, left the store, and fired multiple rounds at the store with an AR-15 style rifle from the parking lot.

Green's charged with attempted murder, attempted assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon. He has been held without bail since he was charged.

Erie County Court Judge, Shelia DiTullio granted Dell's request for a competency exam. Two Erie County psychiatrists are expected to evaluate Green, and determine whether he is fit to aid in his own defense. That is a separate issue from whether he was mentally stable at the time of the crime.

Dell said he plans to argue Green is not guilty by reason of insanity once the trial gets underway. He told 7 Eyewitness News, his goal is to have Green committed to the Rochester Psychiatric Center instead of serving any possible sentence in a state prison.

If convicted, he could face a maximum of 25 years in state prison.

Green is scheduled back in court later this month to review his psychiatric evaluation. DiTullio will determine whether he should be treated at the Rochester Psychiatric center again, or proceed with trial at that hearing.

"I'll be patient now. I want to get him help. I want to go by the proper procedures here. But, once he's cured, we have to start trial right away," said Flynn.