Courthouse shooting defendant to have competency exam
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Monday, April 23, 2012
A man who is charged in a shooting outside the Tulsa County Courthouse is undergoing a mental competency evaluation.
At a defense lawyer’s request, a Tulsa County judge issued an order Monday to allow a psychologist into the Tulsa Jail on Tuesday and again on May 8 for “face-to-face confidential contact” with Andrew Joseph Dennehy, a court document says.
Defense attorney Allen Smallwood asserts in a filing that he “has reason to believe this defendant may be not competent to stand trial at this time.”
Smallwood has employed Curtis Grundy, a Vinita psychologist, to evaluate Dennehy, the filing states.
The test for mental competency focuses on whether a defendant can appreciate the nature of the charges against him, consult with his attorney and rationally assist in preparing a court defense.
A preliminary hearing on the merits of the charges against Dennehy is scheduled for May 11, three days after Grundy’s second jail visit is scheduled, records show.
Dennehy, 23, is charged with two counts of shooting with an intent to kill, one count of possession of a firearm after being adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court, and one count of reckless conduct with a firearm.
Dennehy, of Tulsa, is accused of shooting Deputy David Fortenberry in the hands on March 7 after Dennehy fired into the air on the plaza north of the courthouse. The other shooting charge alleges that he shot in the direction of Deputy Stephen Culley.
Sheriff’s deputies were justified in returning fire and wounding Dennehy, according to a prosecutor who is handling this case.
The office of Brian Kuester, district attorney for Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah and Adair counties, is prosecuting the case, which is filed in Tulsa County and scheduled to be heard at the Tulsa County Courthouse.
Jack Thorp, an assistant prosecutor for Kuester, said recently that “we believe the shooting of Mr. Dennehy was justified based on witness statements and corroborative video evidence.”
Andrew Joseph Dennehy
A man, later identified as Andrew Joseph Dennehy, holds a gun as sheriff's deputies start to surround him on the plaza in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse on March 7. JOHN FANCHER for the Tulsa World
Law enforcement officers handcuff a shooting suspect on the plaza in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse after he was shot by a sheriff's deputy on March 7. JOHN FANCHER for the Tulsa World