Mental Evaluation: Man Accused Of Shooting Wash. Co. Deputy Unfit For Trial
WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) — The results of a mental evaluation showed a man who is accused of shooting a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy is unfit to stand trial.
Raymond Lee Plumlee, 25, of Springdale is facing three counts of attempted capital murder after the sheriff’s office said he shot at several law enforcement officers in March, hitting Lt. Tion Augustine. Augustine was shot in the hip and underwent surgery to repair shattered bones. He has since returned to work.
The court-ordered mental evaluation at Arkansas State Hospital shows Plumlee suffers from schizophrenia with multiple episodes and was in an acute episode when he was examined. It states he lacked the capacity to assist in his own defense or understand the proceedings against him at the time he was interviewed by a doctor.
Following the shooting, Plumlee’s father spoke with 5NEWS about his son’s mental illness. He said Plumlee had suffered from paranoid schizophrenia since he was 15 and was grateful his son was not shot by officers.
When deputies were called to Plumlee’s parents’ home, his mother told them her son was psychotic and suicidal and had run off into the woods with a shotgun, according to probable cause documents. Plumlee opened fire on the deputies when they went searching for him, the documents state.
In interviews with investigators, witnesses said Plumlee’s mental health had been deteriorating quickly in the ten days prior to the shooting. Family had attempted to get him into a mental health facility, but he refused help. They also reported Plumlee believed the Illuminati and Freemasons were after him and he had been hearing voices.
Records from Ozark Guidance going back to 2009 also show Plumlee suffered from delusional beliefs, paranoia and hearing voices.
During a face-to-face interview with a state hospital doctor conducted last month, the doctor reported Plumlee told him he believed his attorney had been replaced with a body double, the attorney and prosecutor spoke to him in jail over an intercom system after reading his thoughts and people had been following and threatening him.
Washington County Prosecutor Matt Durrett said Plumlee will be transferred to the state hospital for treatment, so that his fitness for trial could be restored. A doctor will then conduct a criminal responsibility exam and if Plumlee passes, then he can be tried.
If doctors find Plumlee is still unfit to stand trial, a court could release him under certain condition if it finds he does not present a danger to himself or others. However, if Plumlee is found to be a danger to himself or others, a court can then order the Department of Human Services to petition for an involuntary admission.