Former Burke resident, Brian Hawkins has been found to be incompetent to stand trial which could lead to the dismissal of the criminal charges pending against him.
Hawkins, 44, was a mental health client of Northeast Kingdom Human Services (NKHS) when he was charged in June with misdemeanor simple assault and disorderly conduct after he allegedly assaulted NKHS staff members and tried to force the driver of a farm tractor to give him a ride to Newport.
Caledonia County Superior Court
But at a competency hearing held in Caledonia County Superior Court on Wednesday, Deputy State’s Attorney Tom Paul and Defense Attorney Sam Swope agreed to the incompetency diagnosis based on reports from three different doctors who evaluated Hawkins.
The attorneys agreed that Hawkins was incompetent based on his intellectual disability — not a mental illness.
“There’s evidence of mental illness with his behavior, but they can’t make any diagnosis because it’s so pervasive — the intellectual disability,” said Paul. “They can’t get past it. So that’s why we agreed to find that he was incompetent based on his intellectual disability as opposed to mental illness.”
The next step is the scheduling of a commitment hearing to determine whether Hawkins will be placed into the care of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. The criminal charges of assault and disorderly conduct now pending against Hawkins will likely be dismissed after the hearing.
Hawkins is currently being held in pre-trial detention at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.
According to court documents, Hawkins lived under 24-hour supervision at a NKHS facility located at 696 Burke Green Rd. in Burke when he was arrested by Vermont State Police.
He faces a possible sentence of over one year in prison and a $1,500 fine if convicted of both charges.