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Hearing postponed for accused Ogden church shooter

By Associated Press | Posted - Oct 5th, 2013 @ 5:43pm


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OGDEN (AP) — The attorney for a man accused of shooting and nearly killing his father-in-law during a crowded Father's Day church service in northern Utah has requested more time to review the man's mental state before moving forward.

A hearing set to take place Thursday for Charles "Ricky" Jennings Jr., 35, was postponed at the request of his attorney Michael Bouwhuis.

Jennings was ruled competent to stand trial last month. But Bouwhuis said Thursday he wants more time to assess his client's mental state before scheduling an evidence hearing.

Prosecutors say Jennings shot James Evans, 66, in the head during a crowded June 16 church service in Ogden because he felt "disrespected."

The shooting occurred at Catholic church during a quiet part of the service as about 300 people stood in preparation for communion.

Jennings had walked into the church seconds earlier holding hands with his wife, Cheryl Jennings, who is Evans' daughter.

The bullet remarkably missed Evans' brain, entering near his ear and exiting out his cheek. Evans survived but faces a long recovery from the damage done to his jaw.

Jennings, who is charged with attempted murder, is jailed without bond.

He and his wife had a history of domestic disputes that might have triggered the shooting, police have said.

Jennings' wife stayed inside the church after he fled. There was no indication she knew what her husband was going to do, and authorities have filed no charges against her.

Jennings was apprehended walking near a highway hours after the shooting. Authorities say he had stolen a truck but it ran out of gas.

Court records show Jennings has a criminal record going back to 1996. Over the years, he has pleaded no contest to felony charges of receiving a stolen vehicle and criminal trespassing. He also has pleaded guilty to theft charges and a felony charge of attempting to tamper with a witness or juror.

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