TAMPA (FOX 13) - On the eve of a big decision, Dontae Johnson's mother, Rahlawn Johnson had a message for the judge: "Dontae is a good son dealing with hard times."
In a one-page letter, Johnson says her son was often bullied and threatened and despite his size, was even scared to ride the school bus.
She writes, her son was often degraded and belittled by others, who told him "you can't read or write" and "you are too fat to play football."
Earlier this year, Misty Winter who is like a second mother to Dontae, said he has a learning disability and was in special education classes at Plant High School. She's convinced he was not the mastermind behind this crime.
"The Dontae I know would not put a scheme together with someone else. I think he was manipulated. I can't imagine anything else," said Winter.
Dontae Johnson and co-defendant Ramontrae Williams are accused of killing James Beck, a father from Holiday who was trying to sell them a dirt bike on Craigslist. The shooting happened right in front of the Beck's 15-year-old son.
Now, Donate is claiming he is incompetent to stand trial and should be sent off to a state hospital. His mother is trying to help him get there.
"Dontae is very much loved, missed and needed, " wrote Johnson.
Doctors who evaluated Dontae are expected to give the judge their opinions, but ultimately the only one that will count will be the judge's. A decision is expected Wednesday morning.