Mental Evaluation Ordered: Murder Suspect ‘Agitated, Ranting’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2011

By Jackie Seabolt
Enterprise Record

A Davie man charged with murdering his wife a year and a half ago is being evaluated by mental health professionals to determine if he is able to proceed to trial on the charge.
Gordon Smith, 54, of Ben Anderson Road, Mocksville was arrested April 9, 2010 for the murder of his wife, Diane.
Smith has remained at Davie County Detention Center awaiting trial, but last week a judge ordered an examination to determine if Smith is competent to stand trial.
Diane Smith’s body was discovered on April 2 shortly after 9 a.m. inside the bedroom of the couple’s home on Ben Anderson Road.
There were no signs of struggle inside the bedroom and Diane’s only visible injury was a gunshot wound to her back. On the day of the incident Smith drove himself almost 30 miles to Elkin’s Hugh Chatham Hospital and told hospital staff there he’d shot himself.
Smith was airlifted to Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem where he remained until his arrest.
Monday, Oct. 10, Smith’s lawyer, Lori Hamilton-Dewitt, presented a motion to Judge Jack Klass questioning Smith’s capacity to proceed and moved he be examined to determine whether by reason of mental illness or defect he is unable to understand the nature of the proceedings.
Hamilton-Dewitt cites “observed behavior changes” in Smith that indicate “he is unable to meaningfully assist on his defense.”
Hamilton-Dewitt’s motion says “defendant is agitated, ranting, quoting Biblical scripture and telling counsel she needs to write the references down”.
The motion also states that Smith is “expressing extreme irrational anger and speaking so fast and without breaks that he often has to gasp for air” and that “counsel cannot discuss the case with defendant between his rantings”.
Klass determined Smith’s capacity to proceed was in question and ordered he be transferred to Central Regional Hospital in Raleigh for examination …