A homeless man will spend the next six years in prison after mental health experts found him competent to understand the consequences of his criminal behavior.
John McCoy, 49, pleaded guilty in March to manufacturing and possessing crystal meth at the Karen Drive home of Travis Basham. Basham is currently serving four years for a similar offense.
But McCoy recanted at his April 14 sentencing, saying he was implanted with a tracking device that would prove he was not at the Karen Drive address when methamphetamine was manufactured.
Defense attorney Thomas Arrington then requested a competency evaluation, saying McCoy appeared delusional.
Despite a lack of formal education and a homeless lifestyle that left McCoy sleeping in woods and sheds around London, NetCare experts found him competent to understand the legal proceedings and able to assist with his defense.
In Madison County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday, McCoy continued to insist he was not involved in “cooking” crystal meth and had some in his pocket only by accident.
But Judge Eamon Costello noted McCoy’s fingerprints were on both drugs and lab equipment confiscated from the Karen Drive address in June 2016.
“It’s too much of a coincidence,” Costello said.
Mental competency is also an issue in the case of Julienne Robinson, 57, of Washington Court House.
Robinson is charged with passing a balloon of marijuana to her son, a London Correctional Institution inmate, via an open-mouth kiss. The alleged incident occurred in the prison visitation room in October 2016.
During a pre-trial hearing in April, Robinson appeared glassy-eyed and unaware of the proceedings. Defense attorney Dustin Blake requested a mental evaluation for his client.
That evaluation found the woman incompetent of assisting with her defense and unable to understand legal processes that could put her in prison for up to three years. However, a doctor said Robinson could benefit from treatment.
On Tuesday, Costello ordered the woman confined to a Cincinnati mental health facility until she is judged mentally able to stand trial.
In other common pleas action on Tuesday:
• Kimberly K. Armentrout, 46, of West Jefferson, was ordered to finish a 30-day jail sentence for violating the terms of her community control on a forgery and receiving stolen property conviction. Armentrout had requested early release to address medical problems. Her sentence will expire Friday.
• Justin C. Beane, 27, of Blacklick, was charged with violating terms of his two-year community control on an aggravated drug possession conviction. Beane was arrested on June 5 in Guernsey County for DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Costello appointed Steve Fox to represent Beane at a hearing on July 6.
• Lawrence Holder, 40, a Madison Correctional Institution inmate, was charged with assaulting a female guard at the prison on Feb. 8. The charges stipulate that Holder, a convicted murderer serving 30 years to life, is a repeat violent offender.
An assistant public defender will represent Holder at a July 28 pre-trial and Aug. 10 trial.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.