By Greg Grisolano
A hearing to determine the mental competency of 15-year-old Thomas White has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Aug. 8 in Division 3 of Jasper County Circuit Court, according to the boy’s court-appointed attorney.
Brett Meeker, one of two public defenders appointed to represent White, said the results of a court-ordered competency evaluation state that her client is not competent enough to stand trial. She said Judge David Mouton still has to issue a ruling whether to remand her client to the Department of Mental Health or continue with court proceedings.
“It still has to go before the judge,” Meeker said. “Typically at this point, the judge commits the defendant to the Department of Mental Health for six months to see if they can restore competency.”
White is awaiting trial on five felony counts stemming from an assault-rifle case Oct. 9, 2006, at Memorial Middle School.
The teen was ordered at a hearing on June 13 to undergo an examination for mental competency. His attorneys asked for the examination in light of recent evaluations of their client by a doctor and a psychologist suggesting that an extended jail stay was wearing on the boy’s mental health and that the teen might be schizophrenic.
The court-ordered examination was conducted by the Western Missouri Mental Health Center in Kansas City.
The boy is accused of taking the assault rifle to his school, threatening teachers and students with it, and then firing it into the ceiling of a school hallway. He also is accused of trying to shoot the principal as he was ushering the boy out of the building. He is facing two counts of first-degree assault, and single counts of armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon and attempted escape.
Meeker said she was not sure which center her client would end up in if the judge decided to have him committed.
“He presents a different set of circumstances, because of his age,” she said.
Thomas White has been held in segregation at the Jasper County Jail on $250,000 bond since being certified to stand trial as an adult in December 2006. Possible trial dates of Dec. 8-10 and Jan. 5-7 have been set in the case.
By Greg Grisolano
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
Joplin voters reject all three charter changes
The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.
Three incumbents returned to Carl Junction posts
Voters in the Carl Junction area on Tuesday decided leadership positions on the Carl Junction School Board and City Council.
Two new faces, one incumbent win Joplin School Board seats
The top three vote-getters for open seats on the board were Debbie Fort, with 4,765 votes; Lynda Banwart, with 4,532 votes; and incumbent Randy Steele, with 3,300 votes, according to complete but unofficial results from Jasper and Newton counties.
Joplin voters reject curbside recycling
City voters in Jasper and Newton counties cast 3,835 "no" votes and 3,466 "yes" votes on the issue, according to complete but unofficial results.
Council votes to waive appeal of court order, release full investigation
The Joplin City Council voted 6-3 Thursday night to waive an appeal of Judge David Mouton's ruling ordering the city to disclose the Rohr report and witness testimony in a controversial council investigation.
UPDATE: Police release name of murder victim; autopsy scheduled
Police have identified the man murdered in his apartment at the Housing Authority of Joplin complex as Jerry D. Loflin.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81