Man accused of 2014 Oakwood Mall shooting declared unfit to stand trial _lowres

Gary Francois

Gary François, accused of gunning down a man in the Oakwood Mall on Christmas Eve, has been found mentally unfit to stand trial and will be re-evaluated in 90 days.

Judge Lee Faulkner set a hearing for March 16 after reviewing the findings of the court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, which are under seal in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.

François, 26, was arrested almost a year ago by Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies while trying to hide in bushes on a street near the Terrytown mall.

Minutes earlier, shoppers had fled the mall in droves after James Vaughn, 24, was shot to death at the counter of the Foot Locker store.

A detective with the Sheriff’s Office testified during a hearing in February that surveillance video shows François walking up to Vaughn and shooting him four times, then once more as Vaughn lies on the ground.

Defense attorney Michael Kennedy has said investigators have indicated a fingerprint found on the .40-caliber handgun did not match François’ prints.

Police have not identified a motive but say François knew Vaughn, who lived in Harvey. François is a former Marrero resident now listed as living in Hahnville.

François was originally set to stand trial Nov. 6.

After Wednesday’s competency hearing, which included no testimony by the doctors who examined him, François was remanded to the East Louisiana Mental Health System.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.