Defendant’s Mental Illness is Detailed in Competency Hearing

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On June 13, cross-examination continued in 57-year-old Joseph Evans’ mental observation hearing, with his competency and diagnosis remaining the focus of discussion. 

Evans, is charged with kidnapping while armed, first degree sexual abuse while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon for an offense allegedly committed on Sept. 24, 2012 on the unit block of K Street, NE. According to court documents, a gun was discharged during the incident. Evans is being held at Saint Elizabeths Hospital

Evans’ mental observation hearings date back to 2020. 

As a continuance of a June 9 hearing, an expert witness with a background in clinical and forensic psychology was brought to the stand by prosecutors.  She has worked with Evans as his clinical psychologist since 2022. 

The therapist visited Evans at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital thirteen times, and said he has been variously diagnosed with a number of psychotic illnesses including intense mood swings, hallucinations and a tendency to harm himself and others.

Evans claimed he’s a “billionaire”, and that the government is trying to assassinate him.

Still, the witness alleged that she could not make a definitive diagnosis due to lack of information. She hypothesized that Evans’ behavioral issues may result from his inability to reason clearly or substance abuse.  

During Evans’ time at Saint Elizabeths, the hospital experienced an increase in substance abuse from contraband brought into the institution. Evans was allegedly caught multiple times with tobacco products, and was involved with groups that flaunted the rules.

He is still able to talk to people on the phone, despite many reports of his abusing the privilege, and has been under guardianship for a short amount of time. 

According to reports from Saint Elizabeths, Evans is not compliant in taking his medication.

DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt questioned the why there’s such a difference of opinion about Evans’ diagnosis.

The witness confirmed that there were disagreements between her and her colleagues. The witness also confirmed that Evans’ believes he is ‘fighting for his life’. 

The second expert witness brought forth by prosecutors was from the DC Department of Behavioral Health.  She confirmed she reviewed Evans’ prior records including claims he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Due to scheduling conflicts, testimony from the second expert witness will continue at the next hearing. 

The mental observation hearing is to resume June 14.

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