Courts news

A man accused of murdering his cellmate while in the Floyd County Jail, and who made national headlines over his heated exchange with a Floyd judge, has been temporarily declared not competent to stand trial.

Floyd County Superior Court Judge Billy Sparks signed an order Tuesday stating a recent report by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Heath and Developmental Disabilities concluded that Denver Allen is not fit for trial at this time.

Allen is charged with murder in the death of fellow Floyd County Jail inmate Stephen Rudolph Nalley, 49, on Aug. 26, 2015.

He will be transferred into state custody and sent to a facility where he can be evaluated by a physician or licensed psychologist as to whether or not he may be able to stand trial in the future.

An evaluation will be performed 90 days after the department receives custody of Allen.

Georgia law stipulates that if he is found incapable to stand trial, then he may be committed to a state mental health facility.

If he is found to be competent to stand trial, he will be returned to the court’s custody.

On June 17, 2016, Allen’s request for a different court-appointed attorney degenerated into a heated exchange between himself and Superior Court Judge Bryant Durham.

The exchange consisted of a series of explicit insults, many of which were sexual in nature. Durham was admonished by the Judicial Qualifications Commission and the case was reassigned.

Allen attempted to enter a plea of guilty to the killing of Nalley before Sparks in November.

Prior to accepting the plea, Allen asked to speak and in a long rant including many asides, told Sparks he’d killed Nalley in self-defense. Sparks declined to accept the plea and ordered Allen to undergo a mental evaluation.