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Charges dropped against man accused of shooting at deputies

Lawrence O'Bryan found not competent for trial 5 times since 2010 arrest

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Lawrence O'Bryan
St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Lawrence O'Bryan

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A 59-year-old man in custody since he was accused of firing eight shots at St. Johns County deputies in 2010 will continue to be held even though the three counts of attempted murder on a law officer have been dismissed.

Deputies were responding to a report of domestic abuse when they said Lawrence O’Bryan fired at three deputies. All his shots missed, but O'Bryan was hit by a deputy's return fire.

He recovered and was arrested. He was found not competent for prosecution at the time, and four additional times since then, including earlier this year. In the last evaluation, the psychologist said there was no reasonable probability that he would become competent for prosecution in the foreseeable future.

After the attempted murder charges were dropped, O’Bryan’s lawyer also wanted him released, but the judge said that O’Bryan should remain in custody.

O’Bryan will be transferred from the mental-health hospital in Macclenny, to a “crisis stabilization unit.”