Deputy-assault suspect sent back for evaluation

Kirk Boxleitner kboxleitner@ptleader.com
Posted 3/6/18

A man accused of assaulting a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy in Brinnon more than a year ago has been sent back to Western State Hospital for another six months, as his competency to stand trial …

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Deputy-assault suspect sent back for evaluation

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A man accused of assaulting a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy in Brinnon more than a year ago has been sent back to Western State Hospital for another six months, as his competency to stand trial remains in question.

Sheriff’s Deputy Derek Allen was patrolling Brinnon Jan. 29 when he encountered Glen Jones, then 59, driving a small Dodge truck, according to a probable-cause statement filed with Jefferson County Superior Court. An ensuing vehicle chase ended with Jones being subdued using a stun gun for allegedly attacking Allen with a claw hammer, according to court records.

Jones was charged with two counts of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. He was arraigned in Jefferson County Superior Court on Feb. 3, 2017 and pleaded not guilty. He was initially held in Jefferson County Jail and later transferred to Western State Hospital for a 90-day competency evaluation and restoration period.

A Nov. 1, 2017 forensic evaluation report from Western State Hospital noted Jones’ admittance for a second 90-day competency restoration period and evaluation, in addition to the number of interviews, assessments, consultations, treatments and previous forensic evaluations that Jones underwent since his arrest and incarceration to determine his competency.

In a motion dated Dec. 18, 2017, Richard Davies, Jones’ defense attorney, wrote that he found Jones “surprisingly lucid” subsequent to Jones’ release from Western State Hospital and re-incarceration in Jefferson County Jail. He reported that Jones stated he wanted to proceed to trial.

Davies’ Dec. 18 motion requested public funds to hire Seattle-based psychologist Ken Muscatel to determine whether Jones is competent to proceed to trial, on the grounds that Jones “is indigent and cannot afford to hire an expert.”

A court order, authorizing $3,250 in public funds for Muscatel to render his services as an expert, was signed Dec. 19, but by the time Jones appeared in court Jan. 5, 2018, Muscatel had not yet completed his report on Jones.

Jones’ competency trial was subsequently scheduled, then delayed, for multiple dates in January and February, until he was ordered to be sent back to Western State Hospital for competency restoration Feb. 28.

‘BROKEN’ SYSTEM

When asked why there have been so many delays in getting Jones to trial, Davies said, “A defendant can’t be tried for a crime they’ve been charged with unless they’re competent to stand trial.”

Davies said that Jones has faced significant delays in being admitted to Western State Hospital, due to the limited number of available patient beds, which has, in turn, delayed his competency evaluations and availability to stand trial.

“Although he was ordered to be transferred to Western State Hospital within seven days of Feb. 28, similar circumstances have seen him wait as long as three to four months,” Davies said. “The mental health system that’s in place to restore competency is broken and underfunded.”

Davies faced an additional complication, he said, when Jones decided that he wanted to stand trial, even as Jefferson County prosecutors cited previous determinations of Jones’ lack of competency to stand trial.

“He adamantly contends that he is not guilty of the charges that have been leveled against him,” Davies said. “And as his attorney, it’s my job to represent his interests.”

Davies nonetheless acknowledged, “It’s an odd set of circumstances.”

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