Sheriff shooting suspect to have mental health evaluationPublished 9:27am Thursday, November 7, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man accused in the fatal shooting of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Media outlets report Circuit Judge Paul Farrell ordered the evaluation for Tennis Melvin Maynard at a pretrial hearing Wednesday in Huntington.
Crum was killed April 3 while parked in his cruiser in downtown Williamson.
Maynard of Delbarton is charged in state court with murder, attempted first-degree murder and fleeing. He also faces federal firearms charges.
Maynard’s father has previously said his son has mental health issues, and evidence collected by former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks included orders of involuntary hospitalizations.
Wednesday’s hearing marked the first for Kanawha County prosecutors, who were assigned to the case after Sparks recused himself in September. Sparks later resigned after he was charged in a separate case that grew out of an ongoing federal corruption probe.
Farrell said a jury in Maynard’s trial will be difficult to seat in Williamson due to the case’s widespread publicity. He said the case also could be tried in Huntington.
Farrell expects jury selection to begin in early February. The trial is scheduled to start March 4.