JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A man who pleaded not guilty to shooting and killing two people in April has withdrawn his original plea, according to court documents.
34-year-old Matthew Edward Garren has now instead pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, stating through his attorney that he “did not fully understand the nature, extent or result of his plea.”
Deputies with both the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene of a double homicide at a home on County Road 354 on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
Initially, the shooting was reported to have happened in DeKalb County but was later found to have happened in Jackson County, officials said.
When authorities arrived at the home, they found Horace “Bimbo” Garren, 68, and Christopher Horace Garren, 44, dead from gunshot wounds in the backyard of the home.
Law enforcement searched for Garren, who had run into the woods “some distance away” in DeKalb County. He was found by a search helicopter, according to officials.
Garren has also been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation ahead of his murder trial, with a competency hearing set for November 16 at the Jackson County Courthouse.
He remains in the custody of the Jackson County Jail.