Lawrence man who was charged with attempted murder after allegedly driving car into lake is declared incompetent to stand trial

photo by: Contributed photo/Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Jeremy S. Williams

A Lawrence man accused of attempted murder after allegedly driving a vehicle with a passenger into Lone Star Lake has been declared mentally incompetent.

The Douglas County District Court on Wednesday ruled that Jeremy S. Williams, 22, is currently not competent to stand trial for the charges he is facing and ordered him to receive treatment at a state hospital, according to court records.

With the court’s ruling, Williams will be transferred from Douglas County Jail to Larned State Hospital, said Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden. Williams’ case will remain pending while he receives treatment and attempts to restore competency, Seiden said.

“This does not necessarily result in dismissal of charges,” Seiden said in an email. “In some instances, competency is restored and the individual is then able to stand trial.”

As of Thursday morning, Williams was still in custody.

As the Journal-World previously reported, Williams is facing a charge of second-degree attempted murder, a level-three felony. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested Williams around 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at East 665 Road, which is a county road along Lone Star Lake’s eastern bank.

Jenn Hethcoat, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said at the time that the office responded to a call around 6:50 p.m. for a vehicle appearing to have driven into the lake. The caller reported that a woman, who was later determined to be Williams’ mother, was a passenger in the vehicle and appeared unable to remove herself because of a broken leg.

When police arrived, they learned that the caller had helped the 54-year-old woman from the vehicle. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and cold exposure, Hethcoat said. After an investigation, police determined that Williams was driving the vehicle.

During his first appearance in court the next day, District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said her office was unable to determine Williams’ suitability for release because he refused to cooperate with pretrial services. She said her office believed Williams posed a threat to the community because of mental health concerns.

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