The attorney for former Miami-Dade School Board member Solomon Stinson stood before a Broward County Circuit Court Judge Tuesday and explained that his client had no idea what he was doing the day he got into a gunfight with police and shot at passing cars.
Attorney David Kubiliun said Stinson, a revered and longtime elected leader, was suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s disease and that he believes his client was not competent to stand trial.
“He clearly has no idea of what happened that day. He doesn’t even recall any of the shooting. It’s just very, very tragic,” Kubiliun told the Miami Herald.
In early June, police said Stinson went on a shooting rampage in southwestern Broward County that began with him firing at people in a parked car in a Miramar parking lot and ended with him crashing his vehicle after an exchange of gunfire with police. Between the two episodes, police said, Stinson shot at a moving vehicle.
Miraculously, no one was struck by gunfire or injured.
Stinson was taken into custody and charged by the state with seven counts from three different police departments. The charges included three counts of first-degree attempted murder and four counts of shooting into a vehicle. He’s been jailed since after being denied bond.
On Tuesday, Stinson pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Since the June 2 shooting incidents, Kubiliun said he found a forensic psychologist and a neurologist to evaluate the 81-year-old Stinson. The doctors determined, Kubiliun said, that the former school board member was suffering from deteriorating conditions.
Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, Kubiliun requested that the court assign its own doctors to help determine his client’s competency. Tuesday, the state agreed and the judge said it would appoint a doctor in the coming weeks.
“I’m hopeful that not only the public sentiment, but the court and state attorney’s office is going to see that there is a logical explanation for his conduct,” Kubiliun said.
Stinson spent three decades in various capacities working for Miami-Dade County Schools before his 14-year career as an elected school board member. Kubiliun, who called Stinson’s rampage “tragic,” said his client spent almost 50 years dedicating his life to the children of Miami-Dade County.
“He is essentially a staple in the Miami-Dade community,” said the attorney.
Miami Herald Staff Writer Charles Rabin contributed to this story.