Monday, June 02, 2008

Bondsman’s Killer to be Evaluated

A psychiatrist will evaluate the mental state of the man accused in the March slaying of bail bondsman James W. Woolfolk III, who was shot three times from behind.

A Richmond Circuit Court judge ordered a psychiatrist to report on James E. Carr's ability to stand trial as well as his mental state at the time of the shooting, prosecutors and Carr's defense lawyer said yesterday.

Carr has complained he is hearing voices urging him to do away with himself, said his lawyer, Dean Marcus.

If true, that raises questions about whether Carr can effectively help defend himself in court, the key issue in determining whether someone is competent to stand trial in Virginia, Marcus said.

In addition to a competency evaluation, Judge Beverly W. Snukals also ordered a psychiatric review of Carr's state of mind at the time of the shooting, although Marcus had not asked for that.

In Virginia, people may be found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity if they could not tell right from wrong at the time of the alleged crime or if they did not understand the nature of their acts.

Woolfolk, the bondsman, had been trying to arrest Carr for failing to appear in court to face charges when he was shot March 6 in a house on the 2300 block of Joplin Avenue in South Richmond.

Police tracked Carr to a house a few blocks away about four hours after discovering the bondsman's body. Carr held four children and three adults hostage in that house for less than two hours before surrendering.

Woolfolk was the first bail bondsman in Virginia to be killed while trying to bring in a fugitive.

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