Shooting suspect’s mental competency questioned
By Robert Cloud
James Dax, the 62-year-old Mukwa man charged with six counts of attempted homicide after a Sept. 8 gunfight with deputies, appeared in court Wednesday, Oct. 18, for a competency hearing.
Dr. Steven Benson, a court-appointed psychologist, had examined Dax and found him mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Dax’s attorney, Edmund Jelinski, said Dax believes he is competent and asked for a second evaluation.
“Courts have often allowed a second report to be prepared if one of the parties objected to the report,” Jelinski said.
Jelinski questioned the examination’s thoroughness because it did not include information from Dax’s prior mental health records.
District Attorney Veronica Isherwood said one of the charges against Dax is for possession of a firearm.
At the time of the shooting incident, Dax was under a court order that prohibited him from possessing a gun as a result of prior mental health proceedings.
Judge Troy Nielsen said there “continues to be reason to doubt the defendant’s competency.”
Nielsen said he would appoint another clinical psychologist to examine Dax.
The judge recommended Dr. Allen Hauer of Oshkosh, but noted that he needs to contact Hauer first to discuss scheduling the examination in a timely manner.
Nielsen said Dax’s exam must be conducted at the county jail rather than a mental health facility.
Dax remains in custody on a $5 million cash bond.