Archived Story

Mental competency still in question for accused rapist

Published 10:25am Friday, December 14, 2012

A judge vacated the decision that an accused rapist was found competent to stand trial in order for defense attorneys to question the examiner in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Wednesday, attorneys representing Jeremy Curry, 22, of 1324 S. First Sr., Ironton, disagreed with a mental evaluation that was admitted into evidence in late November. Curry, accused of raping a 2-year-old, a first-degree felony, previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Judge D. Scott Bowling accepted the determination initially, but Wednesday, scheduled a hearing so attorneys Philip Heald and Scott Evans could cross-examine the examiner, giving them a chance to “articulate a reason why it should not be admitted.”

Curry waived his right to a speedy trial last week.

Curry was arrested Sept. 7 and charged with first-degree rape. The complaint filed against him states that Curry “did engage in sexual conduct with a 2-year-old juvenile.”

Curry is being held in the Lawrence County Jail under a $1 million cash bond. The maximum prison sentence for a person found guilty of the first-degree rape of a child under the age of 13 is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In other cases:

• Jon Thacker, 32, of 404 Township Road 301, Ironton, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree trafficking in drugs and second-degree illegal manufacture of drugs.

Bowling set sentencing Dec. 19 after a pre-sentence investigation.

• Heather Ratliff, 29, of Country Hearth Inn, Room 119, South Point, pleaded guilty to a first-degree count of aggravated trafficking in drugs (oxycodone). Bowling set sentencing Jan. 2 after a pre-sentence investigation.

• Eloise Elswick, 46, of 275 N. Third St. Apt. 417, Ironton, admitted community controlled sanctions violations. Bowling sentenced the woman to six months voluntary confinement at Mended Reeds.

• Justin Layman, 27, of 6595 County Road 15, Chesapeake, was arraigned on a bill of information of third-degree theft of a firearm and fourth-degree theft. Layman pleaded not guilty through attorney Mike Davenport.

Judge Charles Cooper set bond at $50,000 cash or surety plus a $50,000 own-recognizance bond and set a pretrial Dec. 26.

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