Wednesday, 16 May 2018 13:20

Defense files motion for mental evaluation in Caesar case

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The attorney representing a man charged in the shooting deaths of his grandmother and a Hollister man filed a motion in Halifax County District Court seeking a mental evaluation for his client.

Isaiah Evans Caesar did not appear in court this morning.

Sammy Webb, who has been assigned to represent Caesar through the Office of Indigent Defense Services, presented the motion to Judge Vershenia Moody.

Assistant District Attorney Keith Werner told Moody the state plans to seek an indictment against Caesar.

The case is set for review on August 15.

Webb said following the brief proceeding he is seeking a motion for forensic evaluation to see if Caesar has the capacity to proceed with trial. “He has to be able to assist me in his defense.”

The evaluation, which Webb requested be performed at Butner Federal Correctional Complex,  is to ensure there is a review of “whatever mental illness he may have,” the attorney said. “I believe he may have been treated in the past for some mental disorder.”

Webb said it was not clear whether Caesar was evaluated in the United States Marine Corps, from which he has been listed as absent without leave.

Webb said he was going to request a court order to obtain his client’s military records. “I don’t know if the military knew about a possible mental disorder.”

At this point Webb said he has not asked Caesar about any facts of the case. “I want to make sure there are no mental defects.”

Webb said the evaluation could take as much as 60 days. “Butner will be able to obtain all his medical records. Butner will have the power to get all records to do the evaluation. Butner will review his family medical records regarding any mental illness.”

Asked what prompted him to file the motion, Webb said, “When you have a case allegedly charging him with killing his grandmother, that’s different from a fight or a shooting. If it was two gangbangers it would be different. From what I know from the family he had a pretty good relationship with his grandmother.”

Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp confirmed earlier this month the result of a preliminary autopsy shows Caesar’s 74-year-old grandmother was shot.

Caesar has refused extradition to face a desertion charge and has been absent without leave from his post at Fort Benning, Georgia, since April 2.

Sally Copeland Evans, Caesar’s grandmother, had been reported missing and the last time she was seen or heard from was on April 24. Further investigation led detectives to look for her grandson.

Evans was taking her grandson to Camp Lejeune where she wanted him to surrender to provost marshal officers for being a deserter. Tripp has said a possible motive appears to be that Caesar wanted to prevent his grandmother from taking him to Jacksonville, the location of the nearest Marine base in North Carolina.

Caesar was stationed at Fort Benning. While an Army base, Caesar was in tech school there, the sheriff confirmed.

During the investigation detectives learned the grandmother’s body had been left near a creek close to her residence.

Caesar was discovered at a Rocky Mount hotel room where evidence was collected which not only allegedly tied him to his grandmother’s murder but the murder of Roderick Bluesky Mills in Hollister.


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