NEWPORT CITY -- The court dismissed a probation violation against a disturbed man who has been accused of stalking a local radio personality.
Timothy Shover, 45, of Newport, who was accompanied at the hearing in Orleans Superior Court-Criminal Division Dec. 13 by guardian ad litem Ernst Zisselsberger, after a mental health professional determined him to be incompetent to stand trial.
The charges were dismissed until May 1, 2012, unless the state requests that they remain on the docket, according to court documents.
The hearing was briefly closed to the public while the parties discussed Shover's mental health.
State's Attorney Alan Franklin opposed dropping the criminal case, but Shover's attorney Dan Maguire said there is no point in keeping the case open since Shover is on probation until further order of the court.
Judge Robert Bent said there were two questions to consider: do the parties think Shover is still incompetent to stand trial and what was his competency at the time of the offense?
Franklin said the state won't challenge the incompetency finding, but added that he feels Shover was most likely competent at the time of the offense.
If the state wishes to evaluate Shover at its own expense, and Shover is found competent, the state can reinstate the charges next May, the judge said.
Shover pleaded guilty last August to violating an order against stalking, obtained by WMOO DJ Deveney Choquette in September 2009 after about nine months of stalking behaviors. He was given a suspended six- to 12-month sentence with probation for one year.
But court records say that during that time, Shover has continued to bother Choquette, among others, in one case resulting in his expulsion from a church because of his odd behavior.
Choquette says in her sworn statement that when she saw Shover lurking outside a store where she was broadcasting live, "I became immediately agitated, anxious and scared."
Judge Bent's May 25 entry order says that in March Dr. Robert Linder at the Vermont State Hospital found Shover competent.
Shover's attorney, Daniel Maguire, requested a second determination of competency, and Dr. Bill Nash attempted to evaluate him.
Nash was unable to make a determination because of Shover's agitation, the entry order says.
"Mr. Shover was exhibiting bizarre behavior suggesting psychotic and highly irrational thoughts, including that he and his stalking victim would settle down together, and that she was in love with him."
In Shover's voluminous probation file, his probation officer, Charlene Cook, wrote a litany of minor offenses that led to additional counts of violating probation.
Shover's underlying sentence is for 2007 convictions for possession of cocaine and marijuana and cultivation of marijuana.
Shover was convicted of violating his probation after staring at Choquette at IROC in Derby in Jan. 2010.
In two 2010 evaluations, Shover was found competent to stand trial. He was sentenced to 180 days for that offense and was released September 7, 2010, according to Cook's report.
That's when the trouble with the church and other women began. Shover was given permission to go to the Church of God in Derby, where Deb Cogan reported that he behaved oddly toward her daughter and to a young child. Cogan said his disturbances at church left little time to actually worship. Even after being asked to leave the church and never return, Shover continued to harass parishioners, the report says.
In October 2010, Shover was living with his ex-partner and teenage daughter. The former girlfriend said he was abusive and harassing toward her and said he had engaged in stalking behaviors toward the teen girl. He was asked to leave and was thereafter homeless.
That led him to housing specialist Sandy Morrissey, who works from Northeast Kingdom Community Action, who also became a victim of stalking behaviors, Cook's report says.
Other complaints came from a woman who said Shover wouldn't stop pounding on her door and from a teen working at a mini mart who was bothered by Shover spending hours in the store singing to her.
Concerned, Cook asked for Shover to be evaluated at Northeast Kingdom Mental Health, which deemed him safe to return to the community on Feb. 1 of this year.
Later that day Shover turned up at a blood drive where Choquette was broadcasting live and stood within five feet of her.