• 55°

Accused Murderer Found Incompetent For Trial

By Beth Cassidy
Enterprise Record

Despite testimony to the contrary by two expert witnesses, accused murderer David Earl Hughes has once again been declared incapable of proceeding to trial.
Hughes, 58, is charged in the 2011 murder of Patricia Yvette Swaim. The two were living together on Serenity Drive when Swaim was reported missing by her daughter on March 10. Her remains were found about 200 yards from the home on March 23.
According to Greg Brown, assistant DA, Swaim had been shot in the head, and her body dismembered and burned, before being partially hidden under a stump in a field.
Hughes, a former demolitions expert, was arrested for murder hours after the body was discovered. Swaim’s daughter is believed to be the last person to have communicated with Swaim, on Feb. 20.
Hughes’ attorney, Vince Rabil, sought a bond for Hughes, who has been held at N.C. Central Regional Hospital in Butner, as well as in Davie Detention Center, since his arrest.
In July, September, and October 2011, and in May 2012, Hughes was found incapable of proceeding to trial, after doctors at the hospital in Butner, including Dr. Mark Hazelrigg, found him to have severe cognitive mental impairment.
Hazelrigg, the director of outpatient forensic evaluations, testified last week before Judge Mark E. Klass in Superior Court that he conducted numerous evaluations …