Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 26, 2013

Mental exam ordered for man charged in pot case

ASHLAND — A judge has ordered a Lawrence County man indicted earlier this month on marijuana and firearms charges undergo a mental evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

In an order entered Thursday, U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning said he found “reasonable cause” to believe Steven A. Davis, 39, of Blaine, “may be suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent” as defined by federal law.

Davis was indicted April 11 by a federal grand jury sitting in Covington on charges of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a drug user in possession of a firearm. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

The alleged offenses occurred Dec. 7 in Lawrence County. The indictment alleges Davis was in possession of an unspecified quantity of marijuana he planned to distribute, and of four handguns, along with clips and ammunition for them. The indictment seeks forfeiture of the weapons.

An indictment is a formal accusation of a crime and does not establish guilt.

According to court records, Davis’ court-appointed attorney, Michael Curtis, raised concerns about his client’s mental health at a detention hearing on Tuesday and moved for a competency evaluation. Prosecutors didn’t object to the request.

In his ruling, Bunning said “the nature of the alleged criminal conduct,” along with the need for a “thorough examination” of Davis’ mental state, had led him to conclude Davis should committed to custody in order to determine whether he is competent to proceed.

Bunning ordered that Davis undergo a psychological examination and that be committed to the custody of the U.S. Attorney General for a placement in a facility where the exam can be performed. The judge stipulated the commitment be “for a reasonable period of item,” no longer than 45 days, unless directed by the court.

Bunning also directed Davis’ examiners’ to file a report with the court on his mental condition as soon as possible after the completion of the exam. He also set aside Davis’ scheduled trial date of June 3, along with a pretrial conference scheduled for May 13.

Davis is lodged in the Carter County Detention Center.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Heroin overdose deaths continue to rise

    The Kentucky state legislature passed a sweeping overhaul to its prescription drug law in the summer of 2012 after a flood of overdose deaths, making it significantly harder for people to access dangerous addictive drugs from doctors.

    July 31, 2014

  • Morehead man faces drug charges

    A Morehead man is facing multiple drug charges after taking possession of a suspicious package mailed to his home on Dillon Lane, according to the Kentucky State Police.

    July 31, 2014

  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dogonline.jpg 'Educate and entertain'

    A local theater group is shooting for changing the area’s theater scene.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07/31/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    July 31, 2014

  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014