Man to get new psych evaluation after just 3 months

Tommy Gandy sits with his attorney, Marc Stewart, as Judge Jim Kitchens makes a point during Monday's hearing in Clay County Circuit Court.

By: 
STEVE ROGERS
Staff Writer


A 35-year-old Clay County man who was found competent in April to stand trial on a variety of violent crimes will get a more current evaluation, a judge ordered Monday.


Tommy Gandy faces charges of kidnapping, simple assault on a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer stemming from an Aug. 21, 2014 incident in which he is accused of holding David Calvert, threatening Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ramirez Williams with a shotgun and firing the gun at Deputy Terry Scott;
It took more than three years to get his mental examination completed.

That cane earlier this year and he was ruled competent.
But Gandy is known for courtroom outbursts and odd behavior and in preparation for his trial which was scheduled Monday in Clay County Circuit Court, Assistant District Attorney Scott Rogillo asked for an expert from the state mental hospital in Whitfield to be at the trial.


The hospital declined, saying they couldn't offer any expertise on Gandy without a new evaluation. Judge Jim Kitchens had Gandy taken to Whitfield Wednesday for an emergency review but counselors said they could not offer a judgement without more time to evaluate and treat Gandy because they said while he understood directions, he wouldn't "engage."
He say quietly without moving in the courtroom during Monday's hearing in Clay County.

But when Kitchens said the hearing was over and he was free to leave the courtroom, Gandy didn't hesitate to get up and walk toward the holding area.
"I anticipate this being done as quickly as possible and if we get a report back that he is competent, no matter where we are in the circuit, we will have a trial within a week," Kitchens told the lawyers and Gandy.


In other cases during Monday's opening day of the circuit court term:
-- Derek Summeral, 36, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended and 10 to serve for the Jan. 20, 2015 armed robbery of Glenda Dean, a clerk at the Texaco convenience store in West Point.

He also must pay a $500 fine and spend five years on post-release supervision when he completes his sentence.

Summeral was emotional during his plea, frequently pausing to compose himself and wipe away tears.

He'd met with his mother prior to entering the plea.
During questioning from Kitchens, Summeral admitted he was on crack cocaine when he committed the robbery and had a prior robbery conviction when he "got in with the wrong crowd."


-- Kitchens and prosecutors gave Kennie Chandler time to discuss with his attorney whether to accept an offer of entering the drug court program after Chandler admitted to Kitchens he'd used methamphetamine and smoked marijuana as recently as Saturday.
Chandler was in court to be arraigned on charges he possessed between 2 and 10 grams of meth on April 26, 2017. Prosecutors had offered to let him go into the pre-trial diversion program and get treatment and keep his record clear.


But Chandler's "twerking" right arm prompted Kitchens to ask him about his drug use.

Chandler's admission prompted Kitchens to recommend drug court, which has a longer term and is even more strict than pre-trial diversion.


Both target suspects who are considered addicts and not violent.


"I think he's got a bit more of a problem than marijuana," Kitchens said.

"In drug court, we can keep a little longer hold on him, more of a hold on him.
 If he flunks a drug test for marijuana, I'm not happy and pre-trial diversion can handle that admirably but if it is something harder like meth or cocaine, I thing they need drug court, that's where we try to get them," said Kitchens, who has just taken a more active role in the drug court serving the 16th District, which covers Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Noxubee counties.
Chandler has been working in Talledega, Ala.

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