A white man accused of gunning down two shoppers at a Kroger store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, last fall has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial, although that could change.
Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell ruled earlier this month that Gregory Bush isn’t competent enough to stand trial on state charges, including two counts of murder and wanton endangerment, according to the Louisville Courier Journal. Bush, 52, has pleaded not guilty.
O’Connell ruled that the defendant is likely to regain competency in the future and rescheduled a hearing for July 24, the newspaper reported. For the time being, Bush will receive treatment at a local psychiatric center.
The Kentucky man faces hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67 — who were both African-American — at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown on Oct. 24. Bush reportedly fired several shots inside the store, killing a man, before heading out to the parking, where shot an unsuspecting woman in the back of the head.
Investigators said Bush tried breaking into a historically Black church that was nearby before the deadly shooting. When he was unable to get in, he headed to the Kroger.
After gunning down Stallard and Jones at the store, Bush allegedly told a witness in the parking lot that “whites don’t kill whites.”
“[My dad] said the guy had walked up on him and had a gun in his hand, and my dad had his gun drawn,” the son of a man who confronted Bush after the shooting told WAVE News at the time. The son explained that his dad promised not to shoot as long the suspect didn’t fire. The shooter replied that “whites don’t kill whites,” he said.
At a May 9 hearing, Dr. Tim Allen testified that although Bush lacked the competency to stand trial, he would likely be able to at a later date. State law requires that defendants must be able to assist a lawyer in mounting their defense, the Courier-Journal reported.
Additionally, Bush has pleaded not guilty to three federal hate crime charges and several gun charges in connection to the incident. If convicted, Bush faces life in prison or the death penalty on those charges.