Reynaud Cook Found Competent to Stand Trial, Pleads Innocent to Yolanda Stone Murder

Although mental health evaluators recommend that Reynaud Cook continue to receive psychiatric treatments, they have concluded that he is competent to stand trial for the murder of 30-year-old Yolanda Stone.

Cook, 29, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder, first and second-degree cruelty to children, contempt and weapons charges in connection with the February 2012 shooting death of Stone. Cook pleaded innocent to all charges.

Prosecutors allege that in late February 2012 Cook shot Stone several times in front of their children. Stone died from her injuries on May 20, 2012, and a medical examiner pronounced her death a homicide a day later.

Cook spent nearly a year on the run until he was arrested in Pennsylvania after allegedly phoning 911 and claiming that he saw men with guns and bombs. Shortly after his arrest, a D.C. magistrate judge ordered Cook to undergo a mental observation hearing to determine whether he is competent to continue with criminal proceedings. After that hearing, Cook’s defense attorney, Daniel Quillin, requested a full competency evaluation.

Teresa Grant, the psychologist who evaluated Cook, wrote in her August 19 report that at first Cook “appeared to be exaggerating cognitive deficits.” But as time progressed, “his level of engagement markedly improved,” Grant wrote.

Grant’s report also mentions two separate occasions when Cook was admitted to St. Elizabeths hospital: once in 2007 and once in 2009. After the 2007 evaluation he was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Psychotic Disorder. In 2009 Cook was diagnosed with Psychotic Disorder and Cannabis Dependence.

Grant concluded in her report, though, that Cook’s “cognitive, mental health and substance abuse factors did not compromise his ability to demonstrate a factual or rational understanding of his criminal proceedings.” However, she wrote, “he should continue to receive psychiatric treatment at the detention center to ensure that he remains competent to stand trial.”

The case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing September 13.

The full report is below.

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