Inpatient treatment ordered for incompetent defendant



Inpatient psychiatric treatment has been ordered for a

66-year-old Pulaski man deemed in September to be incompetent to stand trial.

Chris Tuck, attorney for David Lee Cumbee, asked Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr. to order inpatient treatment because local services have not been able to return Cumbee to a state of competency.

Tuck said Cumbee is suffering from dementia, so inpatient treatment also may fail because “I don’t believe there’s a pill out there to cure dementia.”

“I wish there were,” the judge interjected.

Cumbee will be sent to Southwestern State Hospital or Central State Hospital for treatment. Tuck asked that the case be set for a status review Feb. 27 because he is concerned that Cumbee will be among people found guilty by reason of insanity for murder or other serious crimes.

“This is pretty serious, too,” Long said, referring to the fact Cumbee is charged with forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration and attempted sexual intercourse. He is being held without bond at New River Valley Regional Jail.

Tuck indicated Cumbee has indicated he would like to get a new attorney, but that changes from time to time due to Cumbee’s mental state. “I told him he might be stuck with me for now” since Cumbee is incompetent, Tuck told the court.

Asked by Judge Long if he wants a new attorney, Cumbee said he wants to keep Tuck.

In September, Tuck told the court that Cumbee told the person conducting the competency evaluation that he had never met Tuck even though they had appeared in court together multiple times. Tuck said earlier that Cumbee thought the year was 1947.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Dina Branco did not object to the inpatient treatment.

Branco pointed out in September that the competency evaluation states that Cumbee may be suffering from alcohol-induced dementia.

Cumbee was indicted in February 2012 in connection with an incident that is alleged to have occurred in May 2011. In June 2012 he underwent a competency evaluation and was determined to be incompetent to stand trial. He was returned to competency in October of that year, court records show, but was determined to be incompetent again in September of this year.



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