An 81-year-old man who allegedly shot his wife to death was arraigned Monday in Randolph County Circuit Court, where Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong ordered that he be remanded to Sharpe Hospital in Weston until he is found to be competent to stand trial.
Theodore Yeager Newlon was indicted on one count of murder and one count of wanton endangerment in the fatal shooting of 69-year-old Dora Lee Newlon in his home in Kerens on Feb. 6.
At the start of Monday's hearing, Wilfong said, "I think considering the seriousness of these charges, it would be proper for the court to order an additional evaluation."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Brad Johnson
Theodore Newlon enters Randolph County Circuit Court for a hearing earlier this month. Newlon was remanded Monday to Sharpe Hospital while awaiting further evaluation.
Newlon's attorney, James Hawkins, objected, saying only one qualified psychiatrist is required to evaluate Newlon. Dr. Bobby Miller's evaluation reported that Newlon is not competent to stand trial.
Having Newlon evaluated again would be an "unnecessary expenditure of resources," Hawkins said.
Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker said he believes another evaluation should be performed.
"A second opinion would be very helpful to the court," Wilfong said, and ruled that Newlon will be evaluated by both a psychiatrist and a psychologist.
Hawkins then asked that, based on Miller's evaluation, Newlon be remanded to Sharpe Hospital until the court finds that he is competent.
Newlon has sustained several injuries in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, including a fracture that required him to wear a neck brace, and has had several seizures, Hawkins said.
Parker said he did not object to Newlon being remanded to Sharpe Hospital, noting that "obviously he would still be in restrictive custody."
"It's the more humane thing to do, and certainly it's the right thing to do," Hawkins said.
During Newlon's arraignment, which had been continued from earlier this month, Wilfong asked Hawkins to repeat her questions to Newlon, who is hard of hearing.
"Do you feel like you're thinking clearly?" Wilfong asked.
"I'm trying to, yes," Newlon said.
Wilfong entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Newlon.
Because of the publicity the case has attracted, Hawkins asked that the trial, should Newlon be found competent, start immediately after jury selection.
Wilfong ordered that jury selection would be at 9 a.m. Oct. 16, with the trial set to start immediately afterward.
The last pretrial conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 25.
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