News / Utah / 

Judge deems man competent in church shooting case

By Whitney Evans | Posted - Sep 9th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

1 photo

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

OGDEN — A man charged with shooting his father-in-law in the head during a church service was deemed competent Monday to stand trial.

Two evaluations determined that Charles "Ricky" Jennings, 35, is competent to stand trial for attempted murder. But defense attorney Mike Bouwhuis argued that his client's mental capacity at the time of the shooting may have been impaired.

On Monday, Bouwhuis asked 2nd District Judge Michael D. Lyon for a stipulation on the findings. He wants to look into Jennings' mental capacity on June 16.

"There appears to be some level of diminished capacity at the time of the alleged offense," Bouwhuis said, adding that Jennings "was operating under some sort of psychotic episode" when he allegedly shot his father-in-law.

"There's a question about whether you can separate that out from the drug abuse," Bouwhuis said.

In June, Jennings told police he shot his father in-law because "he felt disrespected," prosecutors said.

Related Story

Jennings entered the St. James the Just Catholic Church, 495 N. Harrison Blvd., during Mass on June 16. He then walked over to the back pew where Jim Evans, his father-in-law, was seated and shot him in the head without saying anything, according to police.

Jennings was arrested about 3.5 hours after Evans was shot. According to witnesses, he ran to a nearby neighborhood, came into a woman's home and asked for her car. He then went to another home and allegedly carjacked a pickup truck at gunpoint.

Lyon gave Bouwhuis three weeks to look into Jennings' mental state at the time of the shooting. Lyon asked that Jennings be evaluated for "antipsychotic medication" as well. A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 3.

Jennings is charged with attempted murder, aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies; and a second-degree felony charge of possession of a firearm by restricted person.

"He does feel some remorse for what happened," Bouwhuis said Monday.

Doctors say Evans will need to undergo several more procedures and reconstruction surgeries, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

Contributing: Haley Smith


Related Stories

Whitney Evans

KSL Weather Forecast