A grand jury on Friday indicted John Carles Combs in the shooting death of Dr. Dennis Sandlin, a Perry County physician.
Combs is facing charges of murder, burglary, tampering with evidence and terroristic threatening, said Perry Commonwealth's Attorney Teresa Reed.
Police have said Combs, 46, of Redfox went to Sandlin's clinic in southern Perry County on Dec. 8 and became belligerent and threatening when the doctor asked that he take a urine test before being prescribed painkillers. Combs left the clinic, and police say he came back two hours later with a gun and shot Sandlin.
Combs was arrested later that day at his home in Redfox, and he has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder and requested psychiatric evaluation. His lawyers have said he is not competent to assist in his defense.
Never miss a local story.
Combs' mother, Laura Combs of Redfox, said Friday that her son struggled with pain and emotional problems for a long time.
"People didn't see it, you know, all his life," she said.
"I am so much in shock. He's so sweet and a loving person."
John Combs has a troubled history, though not a long criminal record. He has never been convicted of a violent crime. He lived in Lexington for a time, and divorce records indicate a history of drug use and a car crash in 1991 that might have been the start of a painkiller addiction.
Laura Combs said her son's ex-wife exaggerated problems during the uncontested divorce because she was angry. Laura Combs said her son's neck was nearly broken in the accident, leaving him with debilitating pain.
"He hurt all the time," she said, adding that she would massage his shoulders to try to give him relief.
The pain was so bad, it affected his temper, Laura Combs said.
"He flips out," she sad.
Laura Combs said she thought her son might have been addicted to drugs. She said he received a psychiatric referral from a Whitesburg doctor a few days before the shooting, but there was a three-month wait for an appointment.
Laura Combs said Friday that she wasn't sure she believed the charges against her son.
"I think someone was pushing him or something," she said.
She said her son was having a hard time early on in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard, but she said he is now out of solitary confinement.
"He seems to be coming around a little bit. I actually got a smile out of him the other day," Combs said on Friday.