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Jurors to determine competency of man to stand trial for murder

November 13, 2017--11:30 a.m.

Staff reports

The mental competency trial of Denver Fenton Allen is underway in Floyd Superior Court.

The trial is not to determine guilt or innocence but to see if he is competent to stand trial for the murder of Stephen Rudolph Nalley, a fellow inmate at the Floyd County Jail in August of 2015.

As jury selection was beginning Monday, Allen began shouting obscenities as attorneys were set to start questioning potential jurors.

Judge Billy Sparks had Allen removed from the courtroom as to not prejudice the panel.

Allen was brought back into the courtroom as the second panel of prospective jurors was being questioned, and he remained mostly quiet.

His only outburst was when Assistant District Attorney Luke Martin was asking about pre-trial publicity, specifically a confrontation between Allen and Judge Bryant Durham during a hearing in June of 2016.

The transcript of the profanity-filled exchange was turned into a cartoon which has gotten more than 22-million views on YouTube.

Allen shouted “False transcript!” and was warned by Judge Sparks to be quiet.

Witnesses, including doctors from Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, are expected to begin testifying this afternoon.

The special jury trial is expected to last into Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.