Man charged in murder to undergo mental check

David Hoyle Jr.

FRONT ROYAL – A town man accused of murdering faces an evaluation to see if he mentally can help attorneys handle his case.

David Glynn Hoyle Jr. appeared in Warren County General District Court with his attorney, public defender Tim Coyne, for a hearing on Tuesday morning. Authorities charged Hoyle with 1st-degree murder and a related firearm offense in the March 27 shooting death of his stepfather, 59-year-old Warren Howard Ramsey in the home they shared with other family members on Grand Avenue.

Judge W. Dale Houff granted Coyne’s request for his client to undergo a mental evaluation to determine competency to stand trial and assist legal counsel with his case. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Anna Hammond appeared for the prosecution.

Hoyle, in shackles and an orange jail uniform, made no comments as he sat by his attorney. Last week, in his first appearance before a judge in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court via video from the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail, Hoyle wore a protective smock to protect from self-harm.

Hoyle’s family members appeared in the courtroom Tuesday as the judge heard from Coyne.

The defense attorney said he had met with Hoyle twice since the court appointed the public defender to represent the defendant. Coyne said he has concerns about his client’s ability to help with his case. Ordinarily the public defender would request that forensic psychologist David Rawls conduct an evaluation on a defendant at the place of incarceration, Coyne said. However, Rawls will not be available for several weeks, Coyne added. So the attorney asked that Hoyle undergo the evaluation as an in-patient at either Central State Hospital in Petersburg or Western State Hospital in Staunton.

Hammond said she didn’t object to Coyne’s request.

Houff scheduled Hoyle’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. May 24 with the expectation that the evaluation is complete. Houff ordered Hoyle to remain held at the jail without bond.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com