Judge Orders Mental Evaluation Of Casper Man Who Held A Hostage
A judge ordered a second competency evaluation for a man accused of taking a hostage and holding him at knife-point at a government office building in August.
Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey ordered the evaluation for David Michael Chavis at the recommendation of the defendant's public defender during a hearing Wednesday.
Chavis, who was 35 when arrested, is charged with one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of possession of a deadly weapon with intent to threaten the life of another.
According to court documents, Chavis entered a government office at 800 Werner Court and held a man hostage with a box-cutter type knife. The building was evacuated, special response and hostage negotiation teams responded, and the incident ended peacefully.
Chavis told police he took the hostage to force the government to release files to him so he could sue the government and make a lot of money, according to court documents.
During his initial hearing, Chavis said he has a mental illness. Prosecutors said he has a lengthy criminal history dating to his early teens.
Wednesday, Chavis was scheduled to be arraigned on the charges.
He was brought into the courtroom after Forgey conducted other hearings and other defendants left. He was escorted by two members of the Natrona County Special Response Team who stood behind him during the hearing.
Chavis' Public Defender Kerri Johnson said he wanted her to file a motion stating he had proof two Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents were committing crimes against him and they had taken his identity. Chavis claimed he had filed Freedom of Information Act requests to get that information, and the DCI responded that information does not exist, Johnson said.
Chavis had 10 hand-written letters he wanted to submit to the court for a hearing before a federal judge, and he told Forgey those documents were for him and not Johnson.
She had expressed her frustration about her client in a May 2 letter to Forgey: "Mr. Chavis has an ongoing persistent delusional belief regarding what should happen in his case and cannot rationally assist me in his defense. As noted in the letter, he believes that a federal judge is the only one with authority to hear this matter, despite my repeated explanations as to why this is not the case."
Prosecutor Mike Blonigen told Forgey neither the quantity nor quality of the letters matter because the court doesn't have the authority to act on Chavis' request.
Forgey said he'll review the documents but agreed with Blonigen that no legal basis exists to grant the request.
Even though Chavis already had a mental evaluation, Forgey said he appears to have a mental deficiency and should undergo another evaluation at the Natrona County jail where he is being held on a $100,000 bond.
At the end of the hearing, Chavis leaned over to Johnson and voiced his frustration at the proceedings. "I've already been incarcerated for 10 months and I need to get this trial going."