Judge orders psych evaluation in teen murder case
FRONT ROYAL — Circuit Judge Clifford L. Athey Jr. Thursday ordered a psychological evaluation in the case of a Gore teen accused in the stabbing death of his girlfriend in March.
William “Beau” Bassler and David Hensley, the defense attorneys representing the defendant, Bailey Lincoln Powell, 18, asked for a psychological examination of Powell covering the time of the incident and evaluating Powell’s mental capacity to stand trial. Powell is charged with second degree murder in the death of Leah Marie Adams, 19, of Front Royal, on March 23.
The defense also moved for an independent analysis of Powell’s blood at the time of the offense to test for LSD, which Athey granted. NMS Labs in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, is the lab that Bassler said would be the best to test for it. Both the defense and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Layton still need to decide how that evidence will be sent to the lab; Bassler said it may be necessary for an investigator to directly transport the blood sample to Pennsylvania.
Additionally, Athey granted a defense motion for an investigator to interview the witnesses in the case on behalf of the defense. Because the defense counsel was appointed by the court rather than hired by Powell, the money to hire an investigator would need to come from state funds. The defense asked for $5,000 to hire the investigator, but Athey granted them $2,500.
“I don’t want to dig too far into the commonwealth’s purse,” Athey added.
Layton noted for the court that there may be additional charges brought against Powell during the next few months of the prosecution’s investigation.
The next hearing date has been set for Sept. 18 in Warren County Circuit Court. If additional charges are brought before a grand jury, there will be a hearing on that date as well.