Judge Denies Competency Evaluation
Judge David W. Hummel Jr. denied a motion for a competency evaluation of Cecil Dewayne Ingold, 51, of 16745 County Nine Road, New Matamoras, in Wetzel County Circuit Court.
Ingold is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with intent to deliver. The offense allegedly took place on July 14, 2008.
Defense Attorney Jeremiah Gardner had made the motion for the hearing and supported his request with medical records provided to Judge Hummel and Prosecutor Timothy Haught.
Hummel conditionally accepted the documents into evidence, but noted they were “hearsay documents” as the authors of them were not present to testify to their validity.
“I do believe they are true valid records,” said Gardner.
While they may be valid, Hummel said he doesn’t know the doctor’s qualifications to give an opinion in the matter and he and the defense were unable to cross examine the doctor during the hearing.
After taking 10 minute recess to review the medical records, Hummel proceeded with the hearing, reminding the court that they were interested in if the client is able to assist counsel and if the client cannot understand the nature of the proceedings.
Gardner testified that when Ingold was incarcerated and unable to take his medication he was not functioning correctly. Hummel asked for a definition of not functioning correctly and Gardner responded that he meant mentally.
“Do you believe he is competent now?” asked Hummel, noting that Ingold’s current mental state is what is being debated. Ingold is currently released on bond and presumably taking his medication.
According to the report, on Feb. 20 Ingold was seen by Psychiatrist Alber L. Ghobrial, M.D. at Hillcrest, a division of Ohio Valley Medical Center, from which he was released March 4.
Haught pointed out several sections of Dr. Ghobrial’s report, calling them “the most relevant section which sets forth the reasons for his voluntary commitment and treatment”. The prosecutor quoted the report as saying “the patient is alert and attentive. . . he has a generally cooperative attitude.” He also pointed out that the report said Ingold has anxiety, tension, and difficulty relaxing, but Haught did not think those are unusual for a person facing a felony.
“I don’t see anything that would say he doesn’t understand,” said Haught, who opposed evaluation at this time.
Hummel agreed, saying, “The court does not find that the records meet these standards.” He finalized the hearing by saying the medical documents provided by the defense would be sealed from access by anyone but the judge, defense, and prosecutor.
Ingold is scheduled for trial April 6.
In another court matter, Fred Leslie Kirk, 39, of 168 Vine St., New Martinsville, waived his right to a speedy trial in this term of court. He is charged with one felony count of failure to register as a sex offender as he allegedly failed to report in the month of his birth (October) to the State Police detachment in his county of registration.
At a hearing on March 5, both Haught and Defense Counsel Gardner were both granted motions for competency evaluations of Kirk.
Previous medical opinions had varied on whether he was competent to stand trial and criminally responsible for his actions.
He was originally scheduled for trial on March 23, but Judge Hummel agreed that psychological evaluations couldn’t be performed and evaluated that quickly. The trial date was vacated and Kirk was asked to return March 18 in anticipation of him waiving his right to speedy trial.
He is to return to court on docket day, May 13, at 9 a.m.