Breaking: Mistrial Just Declared in Trial of Colony Man Accused of Murdering His Lover

Categories: Crime

Richard Hernandez.jpeg
Richard Hernandez
His family, defense attorneys -- even the bailiffs and the transport drivers -- noticed something was different about Seth Winder, who is standing trial in a Denton County court for allegedly murdering his 38-year-old lover Richard Hernandez in 2008, dismembering his body and disposing of him in a dumpster at the man's North Dallas apartment complex.

But Winder was not brought into the courtroom yesterday after defense attorney Derek Adame expressed concern that Winder may not be fit to assist the defense on the third day of trial. Adame said he'd learned that Winder had not been given all of the medication needed to treat his paranoid schizophrenia. He also learned that he'd been placed on a 15-minute watch -- sometimes ordered when a patient is a danger to himself -- by the doctor at the Denton County Jail Wednesday night, but didn't know why.

Seth Winder
By late Thursday afternoon, Winder was evaluated and it was determined that the trial could tentatively resume this morning. But late last night, Winder was once again found incompetent to stand trial, which is why, according to Adame, Judge Bruce McFarling is preparing to declare a mistrial. The judge is about to bring in the jury and read his ruling into the record, at which point Winder will be transported to North Texas State Hospital's Vernon facility, where he will undergo treatment until he is deemed competent to stand trial again.

Update at 10:40 a.m.: Winder was "catatonic" during the last couple of days of trial. His attorneys suspect he's been completely unmedicated during that time, not taking his evening dose and not being given his morning medication. Said Denton County Assistant District Criminal Attorney Cary Piel, "He was faking competency."

Update at 10:55 a.m.: The judge just declared a mistral.

More after the jump.

Winder was initially deemed incompetent to stand trial in '08. It took three years of treatment at North Texas State Hospital in Wichita Falls before he was found competent. Piel said yesterday he believed Winder was still capable of standing trial.

The Colony man was charged with the murder despite the fact that investigators didn't have a body -- which they believe was taken to a landfill in the Dumpster -- or a murder weapon. But they did have blood on Winder's clothing, which matched samples of Hernandez's DNA. They also had witnesses putting him in the apartment complex.

The investigation was chronicled in the A&E true crime procedural The First 48. Winder, for his part, has always denied his involvement.

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It is such a tragedy that mental illness is not properly treated in our society.  It costs much more on all levesl to leave people such as Seth untreated.  One hopes that someday those in authority will realize this and finally change the laws so the mentally ill can receive the treatment they need.  Then, tragic situations such as this, could be prevented.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

I am never going to bitch again about the amount of DVDs my hubby buys.


Well it would take an insane person to do that.  I'm sure if I had multiple personalities, the sane one would say I didn't do it. Sad for Hernandez' family and friends.


schizophrenia is not multiple personality disorder


you're right, I just looked up the definition. That would be dissociative identity disorder. Whatever it is, the guy isn't right. What voices in his head told him it was ok to wear pink short shorts?

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