, Corbin, KY

May 2, 2013

Wanton endangerment suspect appears in competency hearing

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

A Barbourville man facing 12 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment related to a bomb appeared in Knox County Circuit Court for a competency hearing Wednesday.

And now that man has a trial date set.

Glenn David Powell, 66, was indicted in June 2012 with those counts, as well as advertising obscene material, menacing, third-degree terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, receiving a stolen firearm and theft by unlawful taking.

He appeared before Circuit Judge Tom Jensen with his attorney, Warren Scoville, for the hearing.

Jensen called Powell’s doctor, Richard Johnson, and swore him in via speakerphone.

Johnson, who said he’s testified in more than 600 cases, treated Powell from Sept. 20 through Oct. 22.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele began the questioning.

Johnson testified that Powell was being treated for both physical ailments and mental conditions.

When Powell was discharged from the hospital, Johnson testified that Powell was taking a variety of medication, including Haldol.

Johnson said that Haldol was to treat Powell’s mental condition. He also testified that “Mr. Powell (was) competent to stand trial at that time,” referring to Powell’s release date from the hospital.

He added that without the medication, Powell would likely suffer “cognitive impairment.”

While Powell was on the Haldol, Johnson said Powell “made notable significant improvement over the month he was with us.”

During the examination, Johnson testified Powell showed evidence of having suffered mini-strokes and shows some signs of dementia. “There was some evidence of dementia that affects (his) functioning, especially in the memory area,” Johnson said, adding that the Haldol helped this situation.

Scoville also was given opportunity to question the doctor. Scoville said that in March 2012, there was a “strong likelihood” that Powell was not being treated for either his physical or mental conditions.

Powell also offered testimony Wednesday. “This has aged me 20 years and my wife, too,” he said, motioning to his ex-wife, Joyce Powell, in the gallery.

Powell added he also suffered from multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease, and could not afford the medication.

He said he has no health insurance and is not eligible for Social Security.

Powell added that he was not taking the Haldol, explaining that it “made it worse,” and that he “couldn’t get my eyes open, and couldn’t get my tongue out of my mouth.”

Steele asked if he remembered threatening the doctor, and Powell said the doctor threatened him. “I have the right to defend myself,” he testified.

Jensen then determined Powell “has the capacity to understand” what was happening in court and that he was competent to stand trial.

Powell remains free on a $10,000 property bond, which was changed from a $10,000 cash bond.

Jensen added the condition to his bond that Powell seek help from the Veterans Administration hospital.

Jensen asked why he wasn’t taking the Haldol.

Powell answered that he was given high doses when he first was being treated, but that the dosage had been reduced to two milligrams. “I can live with it,” he testified. “But I live better without it.”

When asked about his home, Powell appeared to express some anger. “(I live in) a garbage dump after the law got done with it,” he said.

Scoville intervened, saying Powell lives in “a nice brick home” and that he was a veteran. “There’s a lot (of items) missing (from the home), I’ve been told,” Scoville said.

Further testimony revealed that Powell “gets agitated” and that the Haldol helps. “That medication is beneficial to you, sir,” Jensen said, referring to the doctor’s earlier testimony.

Powell said that the reason he was agitated was “they (sheriff’s deputies) came in and scooted me off to jail.

“They blasted every door down, and turned everything upside-down,” he added. “There’s been so many people in my house it looks like hogs are living in it.

“They trashed it — so I’m a little agitated, of course.”

Jensen insisted Powell “follow the advice of the doctors,” and asked to hear about his status in 30 days.

Jensen scheduled a trial for Sept. 10, with a final pretrial conference Aug. 30.

In March 2012, Powell allegedly was found in possession of a pipe bomb. Those considered endangered if the bomb had exploded were Knox County Sheriff John Pickard, deputies Chad Wagner, Claude Hudson and Keith Liford, Kentucky State Police Trooper Jim Adkins, and Barbourville Police officers Steve Owens, Brian Senters and Chief Mike Broughton.

Others potentially in harm’s way include Brad Brasher and Todd Tremaine with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Mike Mitchell and Gerald Baker, with Knox County EMS.