Based on a mental health evaluation, Judge Russell Canan ruled Friday that Herbert Hayes is competent to stand trial for the murder of 41-year-old John Wesley Griffin. Canan rescheduled the trial to begin June 24.
Judge Canan ordered the evaluation last week after Hayes’ previous attorney, Betty Ballester, disclosed that Hayes had threatened her. At that time, Canan said that he suspected that Hayes had threatened two other attorneys as well. Based on Ballester’s statement, Canan appointed a new attorney, Russell Hairston, to the case.
“You’ve now had three excellent lawyers that the court has appointed you,” Canan told Hayes Friday. “This is the last lawyer the court is going to appoint; either get along with him or represent yourself.”
Teresa Grant, the psychologist who evaluated Hayes, wrote in her report that “while many of his beliefs about his case appear to be irrational, they appear to be related to personality factors as opposed to signs of a disorder.”
Hayes, 40, is suspected of fatally stabbing Griffin in May 2012. He was arrested three days after the incident and has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.
A status hearing is scheduled for May 24.