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ETX hatchet slinging suspect found competent to stand trial

ETX hatchet slinging suspect found competent to stand trial
Marshall Police Department

POSTED: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 4:58pm

UPDATED: Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 8:14am

A man accused of attacking multiple people at an East Texas Walmart with a hatchet has been found competent to stand trial.

In a report filed on July 8, by Dr. Barbara Beadles, a competency program staff psychiatrist at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, Christopher Lynn Hamilton, 28, of  Crawford, Arkansas, was determined to currently be competent enough to stand trial.

According to a trial competency evaluation document, the suspect understood the possible outcomes following his competency test: Going back to jail and trial or  go back to the hospital. During a 65 minutes interview with Dr. Lincoln Lim on July 3, Hamilton was evaluated on six different categories: 

  1. Capacity to rationally understand the charges and potential consequences of the pending proceedings
  2. Capacity to disclose to counsel pertinent facts, events and states of mind
  3. Capacity to engage in reasoned choice of legal strategies and options
  4. Capacity to understand the adversarial nature of the criminal proceedings
  5. Capacity to exhibit appropriate courtroom behavior
  6. Capacity to testify

Lim offered his opinion on the suspect's competency to stand trial:

At this time, Mr. Hamilton has a factual, as well as rational understanding of court personnel and the proceedings against him. He has an appreciation of his charges well as the potential consequences if he were to be convicted. He has the ability to engage in a meaningful interchange regarding his current charges, assist his attorney in preparing a defense, and to conform his behavior to the decorum of the courtroom. He indicated his willingness to work with his court-appointed counsel upon his return to court. His current mental status indicates that he has adequate intelligence, concentration, as well as alertness, logical thinking, and coherence to adequately participate in hi own defense.

Lim also recommended Hamilton's proceedings be expedited and he remain on medication in order to minimize adverse affects on his mental state. The psychologist also advised the court to give frequent breaks, use short sentences and have his mental state closely monitored to ensure his symptoms are not made worse.

During his time at the hospital, the suspect admitted to hallucinations and delusions. Hamilton also stated he had no recollection of his alleged hatchet attacks. At the time of the of the competency evaluation, Hamilton had progressed to highest level of privilege available to an individual in the facility in the "honor's dorm."

Back on December 9, 2013, Hamilton allegedly injured several people swinging a hatchet inside a Marshall Walmart, located on the 1700 block of East End Boulevard. The incident happened around 6:00 a.m.  

When responding officers arrived, Hamilton ran from the scene into a nearby wooded area. Police, as well as K-9 units from Hallsville and Texas DPS troopers, searched the woods and found him around 7:30 a.m. He was arrested and booked into the Harrison County Jail. His bail was set at $225,000.  

Hamilton was indicted by a Harrison County jury on March 4, 2014, on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

The suspect was admitted to the North Texas State Hospital - Vernon Campus on April 14 after he was found incompetent to stand trial. 

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