Man found ‘incompentent to stand trial’


By Ashley Bunton - abunton@civitasmedia.com



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A 23-year-old mentally disabled man indicted Sept. 25, 2015 for two counts of gross sexual imposition with a minor female was found incompetent to stand trial and can’t be restored to competency.

A mental health examination was ordered in April for Daniel J. Howard, of Bloomingburg. After the first mental evaluation was completed and Howard was determined to be incompetent to stand trial, the state ordered a second evaluation in May, according to court records. The mental health evaluation, conducted by different doctors, both came to the conclusion that Howard was incompetent for trial.

Ohio Revised Code for criminal procedure requires a psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist to perform the mental health evaluation in assessing a defendant’s competency to stand trial.

An Aug. 15 hearing with Howard and his attorney, Vincent Dugan, and the state of Ohio, was scheduled to discuss the results of Howard’s mental health evaluations.

Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge, dismissed the case Aug. 24 following the Aug. 15 hearing.

“We had to dismiss based on him being found not competent and not restorable,” said John Scott, Fayette County Assistant Prosecutor.

Both reports found that mental health treatment would not be able to restore Howard’s mental health within a year, as required by Ohio Revised Code, in order for him to stand trial on the charges.

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By Ashley Bunton

abunton@civitasmedia.com

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton