Gordon assigned public defender, breaks down in courtroom

Carol Gordon

A Murphys resident who has been awaiting trial after multiple delays will have to wait a little longer.

The pre-preliminary hearing for Carol Gordon, who is being charged with felony vandalism, obstructing/resisting a public officer, intimidating a business operator and public intoxication, took place on May 16. The outcome was a court-ordered mental competency evaluation.

Represented by public defender April Scott with Jonna Speelman as the prosecution, both attorneys approached Judge David Sanders and spoke at bench for about two minutes before going on the record.

Scott made a motion which would require Gordon to complete a court ordered mental competency evaluation before continuing trial, and will vacate future preliminary trial hearings “pending determination of a court appointed professional.”

“All proceedings are stayed pursuant to penal code 1368,” said Judge David Sanders. Sanders ordered the examination to be completed by Dr. Gary Cavanaugh, MD.

Gordon sat in court in a blue, purple and white, long multi-patterned dress. She sat calmly during the proceedings, looking into the distance, waiting for her case to be called.

Speelman requested that Gordon be remanded until the evaluation was completed.

“The people have concern about the defendant failing to appear for her appointment with Dr. Cavanaugh,” Speelman said. “There are 20 reports over the last 10 years showing significant mental decline.”

Speelman recommended that her bail bond be exonerated and Gordon be remanded to the county jail.

“I have no doubt she will appear for her appointment,” Scott said. “(There are) no new changes and no danger to the public at this time.”

“I feel it’s appropriate for the safety of the public … why would she comply with the rules of the law?” Speelman said.

Sanders said that based on the circumstances, the bail bond will continue to be in place.

Before leaving the courtroom, Gordon calmly turned to Scott and asked where the court appointed doctor’s office was located. Her speech was measured and her demeanor calm.

The next court date will be for a mental competency hearing on July 25 at 10:30 a.m.

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