Exam prescribed by judge

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Lewisburg man accused of calling city police more than 4,500 times last year is to undergo an evaluation to determine whether he's competent to stand trial, according to Marshall County's General Sessions Court judge.

Charles Miller, 56, of 442 Haynes St., was arrested Jan. 11 by Lewisburg Police and charged with making harassing phone calls and filing false reports to police as he's repeatedly complained of noise in his neighborhood that police haven't been able to verify, according to public records and various officials' statements.

Miller faced Judge Steve Bowden on Tuesday with his defense attorney, Forrest Craig of Memphis. Calls to Craig's telephone answering system resulted in no return call and live contact by press time.

Noting the high number of calls to police -- calls that mathematically average about a dozen a day -- Judge Bowden ruled that a psychological examination is prudent before a preliminary hearing is to be conducted.

Bowden's decision was heard by a number of people in open court.

Circuit Court Clerk Elinor Brandon Foster's duties include supervision over Sessions Court records.

"As I know it and understand it at this time," Foster said on Wednesday, a written order issued by Bowden for the exam "was physically sealed by the District Attorney's office" on a request by the judge.

"The order was handed to my deputy," Foster said, unaware of whether the request for an examination was sought by the state or the defense. "The judge ordered it sealed."

It was sent to Centerstone in Tullahoma, she said of a state-contracted agency that provides medical services o the court system.

Miller remains free in lieu of $6,500 bond.

As for the telephone calls from Miller to police, Chief Chuck Forbis says, "We haven't gotten any since he was taken into custody."