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[UPDATE] Former Leon Co. Commissioner to Appear in Court

By: Julie Montanaro, Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Julie Montanaro, Lanetra Bennett Email

 

 

 

[UPDATE] 1-08 10:40AM --

Dan Winchester is scheduled to have a hearing in court this morning (1-18) about his competency to stand trial.

Winchester has been in the state hospital in Chattahoochee for 6 months. The hospital says he is competent for trial. His lawyer wants a different expert to review the evaluation and do a separate evaluation. The judge is leaving Winchester in the state hospital in meantime.

Another hearing is set for February 8th at 10am.

Winchester was not in court today.

Stay with WCTV.tv for more on the story.

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Updated Tuesday, August 3 at 6:06 p.m.

Defense Attorney Tim Jansen walked the order up to the judge during a case management hearing Tuesday.

It's signed; and Jansen's client, former Leon County Commissioner Dan Winchester, will be transported to a mental health facility.

Jansen said, "I believe that he should've been there the entire time. He should've been getting the help. He was not a danger to the community, he has no previous criminal history whatsoever. He served his community as commissioner. He has a mental health illness that was being treated, but the state attorney decided, no, we want to just put him in jail."

After the state attorney agreed with Jansen's motion to have Winchester evaluated, Winchester is now declared incompetent to stand trial on more than a dozen violent confrontations with his wife.

Winchester was arrested last September after being accused of locking her in an outdoor shed and threatening her with an iron pipe, trying to choke her and threatening her with a gun.

Jansen says Winchester had multiple mental illness diagnoses prior to the charges.

Leon County resident Dean Bourn said, "I just don't see how being mentally ill before hand can declare you incompetent. If he was declared mentally ill or unstable, he should've been on medication and not let to get into that situation in the first place."

A status report on Winchester's competency is expected in six months. At that time, the state attorney is expected to make a decision on the trial based on that mental health evaluation.

It is unknown at this time which mental health hospital Winchester is being transported to.

Winchester was not in court for his hearing Tuesday morning.

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Updated Tuesday, August 3 at 10:38 a.m.

Winchester's attorney had filed a motion to have the former Leon County Commissioner declared incompetent to stand trial. The state attorney's office has agreed to that motion and Tuesday the judge signed the order. Winchester will now be transported to a mental health facility.

The judge also signed an order to make all of the information in the case public record.

A status report is expected in six months.

We'll have more on this morning's hearing later on Eyewitness News.

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A Former Leon County Commissioner is slated to appear in court later this morning.

Dan Winchester was arrested last fall on more than a dozen felony counts for a series of violent confrontations with his wife.

Winchester was initially released on bond and ordered to wear a GPS monitor, but he was re-arrested, and has been in jail since he was denied bond in December.

Attorneys are expected to discuss the results of recent psychiatric evaluations.


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