Daniel’s Trial Postponed; Not Competent to Stand Trial — News — Friday, November 22, 2013

Lillard DanielMurder Trial on hold due to questions of Defendant Lillard Daniel’s Competency

The first degree murder trial of Morgan County resident Lillard Daniel is on hold, according to 9th District Attorney General’s Office. The murder trial has not yet been rescheduled as Daniel has recently had surgery; however, the over-riding issue revolves around Lillard Daniel’s competency to stand trial.

Lillard Daniel was originally charged with second degree murder for the August 15th, 2012 shot gun slaying of prominent businessman and farmer, Calvin Howard of Lancing.   At the preliminary hearing on this case before Judge Mike Davis on November 15, 2012,  the testimony was that an investigation conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Lillard Daniel shot Calvin Howard in Daniel’s garage when Howard was allegedly summonsed to Daniel’s house by certified mail from Daniel to Howard.  Upon Howard’s arrival, according to Daniel’s statement, the two started discussing Daniel’s dissatisfaction with the effects of Howard’s spraying of herbicide on Daniel’s weed-infested fields.  At some point in the argument, Daniels shot Howard with a single shot from a shotgun.  A Morgan County Grand Jury later increased the charge to first degree murder by indictment on January 22, 2013.

At a recent pre-trial hearing before Judge E. Eugene Eblen in Morgan County Criminal Court the defense attorney for Daniel, Stephen Johnson, raised issues concerning both his client’s potential insanity, as well as Daniel’s lack of competency to assist in his own defense.  Deputy District Attorney General Frank Harvey, who is heading up the trial for the State of Tennessee, then moved the Court to have Daniel also evaluated by the State’s experts.

Unfortunately, according to Generals Johnson and Harvey, the State of Tennessee’s own mental health expert has determined that the defendant is, indeed, “not competent to assist in his own defense”.  This pronouncement, therefore, makes Lillard Daniel unable to legally stand trial at this time.

As an assurance to the public at large, the same experts have opined that they do not believe Lillard Daniel is currently a danger to himself or others.  Therefore, and unfortunately according to the District Attorney General, there is no avenue for the State of Tennessee to have him committed or otherwise confined to a mental health facility.  Furthermore he cannot be incarcerated in jail or prison.

The trial will be reset at a later date.  The family of the victim has already been notified of this unfortunate news by the District Attorney.



  1. Absolutely disgusting. There are not adequate words to describe this vile human being as well as the judge who allows him to walk free. It is absolutely ridiculous and brings to mind thoughts of a pay off.

  2. So, let me see if I have this right… this crazy old man shot and killed an unarmed young husband, and father, and Tennessee says he’s incompetent but can’t figure out a way to put him in a mental institution or jail? Is this the good old boy network at work?

  3. This result is horrific. Beyond comprehension. Lillard Daniel is not fit to stand trial, but is a murderer, who is “unlikely to endanger himself or others” – therefore, he is a murderer who will be walking free in society. How will the authorities insure that he does no further harm?

    My heart goes out to his family, who must endure this miscarriage of justice.

  4. There are way too many mistakes in psychiatrist evaluations of killers. No one in the community is safe with an “incompetent to stand trial” killer on the loose, one who murdered a person over a dispute about weeds. Will saying “I’m sorry” to the family of his next ( potential) victim be enough? This is insane behavior on the part of the justice system IMO.

  5. So sad, I just don’t know why he can not be put in a menta facility if he is not compatent enough to stand trial. If he was incompentant enough to commit murder once and he is still not stable then does anyone realy know if he is a harm to others?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.