Funds for psych expert granted in Edinburg stabbing case

Samual Homer

WOODSTOCK — Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp granted a defense motion on Wednesday for funds to hire a psychological expert in the case against the Edinburg man accused of stabbing a mother and her two daughters in a park.

Samual Jacob Homer, 18, was indicted on July 12 on two counts of attempted first-degree murder and five counts of possession of child pornography. Homer appeared in court Wednesday by video conference and was seen frequently shifting his weight in his seat.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Peter McDermott, called for a competency evaluation to determine Homer’s ability to stand trial. But in order to do that, a full IQ examination would also be necessary because Homer has “deep-seeded psychological issues” and the entire psychological evaluation on Homer will need to be more involved than most evaluations because of Homer’s mental state, McDermott said.

“It’s difficult to understand what he cannot understand,” McDermott said.

McDermott added that the additional examinations will be needed to determine if Homer’s mental state can be restored, as required under the Virginia statute for determining trial competency.

Hupp granted the defense’s motion, and allowed for the prosecution to have an independent evaluation conducted on Homer as well. The next hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 25 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.