South Jax murder trial continued pending mental fitness exam of defendant

By Gary Scott on July 3, 2018 at 12:18pm

The local man on trial for the murder of his own mother last month will undergo an examination of his mental fitness prior to any further proceedings.

Twenty-four year old Glenn Van Avery, of the 13-hundred block of South Diamond, appeared in Morgan County court today alongside his attorney, Public Defender Tom Piper for what was scheduled to be a preliminary hearing. However, Attorney Piper informed the court that he filed a motion last week for a mental fitness examination to be conducted on Van Avery. Piper told Judge Chris Reif that he has met with the defendant on multiple occasions, and during those discussions, he found there to be doubt as to whether or not Van Avery could comprehend what exactly a preliminary hearing is or is not.

Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll did not object to Piper’s motion for the examination, nor did Judge Reif

Judge Reif advised Van Avery to try and cooperate to the best of his ability with the examination, and informed him that all speedy trial rates are currently on hold until the examination can be completed.

Attorney Piper told the court that the defendant has made an attempt to complete the mental examination, however, Dr. Terry Killian, a psychiatrist based in Springfield who will conduct the examination, was unable to be reached

Pending the results of Van Avery’s mental fitness examination, Judge Reif set his next court date for August 7th at 10 a.m.