Expert says Mahan competent to stand trial

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Willow Wood man accused of interrupting a graduation party with gunfire and then hiding in the woods afterward has been found competent to stand trial.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper has set a Nov. 1 trial date for Charles Mahan, 68, of 3265 County Road 64. Mahan is charged with two counts of felonious assault.

During a pretrial conference Wednesday, Cooper accepted a report from Dr. Jaime Lai, of the Shawnee Forensic Center, that said Mahan was capable “of understanding the nature of the proceedings against him and of assisting in his own defense” and that Mahan does not suffer from any mental defect.

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On Saturday, June 2, Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a location near 7411 State Route 217 to investigate a complaint that one man was shot at and another man was hit with a baseball bat and that the alleged culprit had run into the woods. The man who was struck with a baseball bat was taken to an area hospital.

Authorities said the man who was shot at was grazed with the bullet. Mahan turned himself in three days later.

In another case, Jeffrey Rowe, 50, whose address is listed in court documents as the Lawrence County Jail, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony burglary and misdeamnor charges of possessing drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.

Cooper sentenced him to a total of four years in prison and ordered him to pay $300 in restitution to his victim.

If he stays out of trouble while he is in prison, he may be eligible for judicial release after three years, however.

Rowe was arrested by Ironton police in July after homeowners in the 2000 block of South Fifth Street complained their homes had been entered while they were away and their medication taken.

One homeowner began searching his property and found Rowe hiding under his house. Officers were forced to chase Rowe on foot a couple of blocks to arrest him.

Ironton Police Sgt. Beth Rist said she had to use a tazer on Rowe to stop him. The victims said they knew Rowe and one had even let him live in an outbuilding for a while because he had nowhere else to live.