A judge has ordered a mental competency evaluation of a Kansas City, Kan., man charged with first-degree murder in the death of a woman who crashed her car while fleeing an alleged rape by the man.
Orlando Taylor, 35, had already been charged with raping 39-year-old Shannon Keithley in her Kansas City, Kan., home Aug. 18. He was later charged with felony murder because Keithley died that same morning when she raced away and crashed her SUV into a bridge pillar less than a mile away.
Taylor appeared in a Wyandotte County courtroom Thursday for a preliminary hearing, but his defense attorney raised concerns that Taylor was not sufficiently mentally competent to proceed.
The judge postponed the hearing so that Taylor could be evaluated, Wyandotte County Assistant District Attorney Ethan Zipf-Sigler said.
A new court date will not be set until after the question of Taylor’s competency is resolved.
Police said Taylor attacked Keithley in her home in the early morning hours Aug. 18 and that Keithley escaped around 5 a.m. She was driving east on Leavenworth Road when her car crashed into the center pillar at the Interstate 635 overpass.
She wasn’t wearing a seat belt — which friends said was an indication that she was frantic.
Taylor was arrested the same morning hiding under the back deck of Keithley’s house. He was initially charged with rape and burglary, but prosecutors added the felony murder charge a month later.
Statutes allow for a first-degree murder charge if a person dies during the act of felony.