Man accused of fatally shooting teen at Peach Stand to undergo mental evaluation

Mendez (York County Sheriff's Office)
Mendez (York County Sheriff's Office)

FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) - The man accused of shooting and killing a teenage girl inside the landmark Peach Stand in late January has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation to see if he's competent to stand trial.

A court order released Tuesday states that 28-year-old Christopher Mendez "may lack the competency to understand the criminal proceedings or to assist with the defense as a result of lack of mental competence."

Mendez is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Karson Bailey Whitesell at the Peach Stand in Fort Mill on January 23.

Investigators say Mendez went into the business, shot Whitesell - who was working as a cashier - then waited at the scene until officers arrived.

Officers have not said what may have led to the shooting. According to Whitesell's mother, the shooting was random.

Police say the shooting was not a domestic violence incident and was not an armed robbery attempt. Officers said Whitesell and Mendez did not know each other.

Mendez was charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Bond was denied on both charges.

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Some who know Mendez say he was polite and quiet. They said they never expected him to be capable of murder.

There is no date set for his mental evaluation, however, the court order states "The examining facility shall schedule the ordered examination no later than thirty (30) days" from when they receive the order.

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