Defense attorneys representing former University of Kentucky board chairman Billy Joe Miles in the rape and sodomy case against him have filed a motion asking that Miles be court-evaluated to see if he is competent to stand trial.
In their motion, defense attorneys argue psychological examinations that have already taken place show Miles is already mentally incapable of being put on trial.
Miles, 77, was indicted in September on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and bribery of a witness in connection with a July incident that allegedly occurred at Miles’ home in the 1600 block of Barclay Avenue in Owensboro. According to court records, Miles allegedly sexually assaulted a home health care worker there to take care of Miles in the early morning hours of July 2.
Miles has pleaded not guilty in the incident. The case is set for trial in September.
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The issue of whether Miles might be incompetent to stand trial was raised at the last hearing in November. The standard for competency is whether the defendant understands the court proceeding and is capable of participating in his or her defense.
The motion was filed by defense attorneys Michael Mazzoli and J. Rob Eggert. The motion says after the November hearing, Miles was evaluated by both a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Their reports “cast grave doubt on Mr. Miles’ competency,” the motion says.
The psychologist, Wayne Harper, found “profoundly impaired performances” in cognitive function, the motion says. The motion also quotes Harper saying Miles has “gross cognitive impairments” due to “a major neurocognitive disorder.”
The motion says Harper examined Miles’ medical records and found they “indicate an insidiously and steadily worsening dementing process,” since “at least 2013.”
Psychiatrist Dr. Walter Butler found Miles’ condition is attributable to Lewy body dementia, a condition that “causes a progressive dementia that usually advances more rapidly than in Alzheimer’s dementia,” the motion says.
As a result, Butler found Miles is not able to “retain information, process it and prioritize it in order to assist … in the active defense of his charges,” the motion says. The motion further says Miles can’t help analyze evidence and doesn’t have “the cognitive or intellectual capacity to follow instructions or understand advice.”
Butler wrote, in a report quoted in the motion: “I do not believe (Miles) has the capacity to maintain an adequate relationship with (attorneys) to plan legal strategy, follow testimony for contradictions or errors, challenge prosecution witnesses or to testify relevantly or be cross-examined, if necessary.” The motion says Butler’s view is that he doubts Miles has “the capacity to tolerate the stress of a trial environment.”
The motion asks special Circuit Judge Mark Kelly Easton appoint a psychologist to evaluate Miles as to his ability to stand trial.
No hearings in the case are currently scheduled.