A South Carolina man charged federally in a chase and shooting which began in South Carolina and ended in Emporia has received a 90-day extension for his mental evaluation through the United States bureau of prisons to be completed, according to court documents.
Chief United States District Judge Richard E. Myers II signed the order in the case of Franklin Joseph Dangerfield on Friday.
The bureau of prisons had sent the court a letter, which was not contained in the court documents, requesting the extension due to COVID-19 protocols and unexpected staffing issues, Myers noted in the order.
Myers had previously ordered a mental evaluation for the man in April.
In that order, according to the motion filed by Dangerfield’s counsel, the parties were ordered to confer and to agree upon a professional — or professionals — who are qualified and available to conduct the defendant's competency examination.
Dangerfield’s counsel noted the defense received additional funds from the court to have an expert retained by his defense to conduct the evaluation. However, the doctor, a neuropsychologist, was unable to get Dangerfield to cooperate with his evaluation during a meeting.
“Given that (the) defendant is in custody, the nature of the charges he faces, and the nature of the mental health issues undersigned counsel has observed, counsel for the government and defense counsel agree that (the) defendant should be taken to a BOP facility for the competency evaluation.”
Previously reviewed court documents obtained by counsel in discovery noted that Dangerfield sustained a head injury in the past after a tree fell through the roof of his residence and struck his head.
At the time of the review of those documents, Dangerfield’s counsel had four in-person meetings with his client and during the first three counsel did not observe behavior that caused concern about the man’s competency to stand trial.
However, during a meeting at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, the motion says Dangerfield was observed making delusional statements.
During a phone call, the neuropsychologist reported that Dangerfield made multiple delusional statements. Based on his 90 minutes with the defendant and his review of records related to the defendant’s medical history, the doctor informed counsel that he has concerns about the defendant’s competency to assist in his defense and agreed that a full competency evaluation should be conducted.
Dangerfield was charged in September of last year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
According to the ATF complaint, deputies with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office responded to southern Nash County after receiving calls of a male shooting at vehicles along I-95 from a black pickup.
Deputies located the truck traveling at high speeds north on I-95, and pursued the driver through four counties, before crossing the North Carolina-Virginia state line.
Deputies with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the pursuit.
The driver of the pickup truck exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour before crashing at mile marker 11 in Emporia.
Virginia State Police observed Dangerfield, the sole occupant of the vehicle, in the driver’s seat and a loaded Savage Arms Springfield 67H 12-gauge shotgun in plain view on the front passenger seat.
The shotgun had a sawed-off barrel and was not registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, in violation of federal law. Officers also recovered shotgun shells and a hacksaw from the truck.
The injuries in Nash County along I-95 included one person shot in the shoulder and another punctured in the face by shattered glass.
A Nash County Sheriff’s Office deputy’s marked vehicle sustained damage in the chase and the deputy received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.