By Diane Madigan
Independent Court Reporter
Jared Dean-Meeks Ritchie, 17, who is accused of trying to kill his stepbrother with a shotgun on Oct. 27, will have his criminal case delayed until after a psychiatric examination.
Ritchie moved to Sumpter Township from a troubled life in Texas to live with his stepbrother in the 23000 block of Elwell Road and that’s where the assault took place.
The victim was hospitalized in serious condition, but has recovered.
On Dec. 18 in Judge Brian Oakley’s courtroom at 34th District Court, Ritchie stood with his court-appointed attorney David Lankford for his preliminary examination.
Public Defender Lankford, who represents accused felons at 34th District Court, asked that the preliminary exam be adjourned/postponed until a psychiatric referral was performed, to determine if Ritchie has competency problems.
Lankford said that Ritchie indicated he was going to “plea the Fifth” with his lawyer, meaning Lankford. Lankford had spoken with Ritchie’s stepbrother, who said Ritchie may have some mental health issues.
After allegedly shooting his step-brother, Ritchie fled the area by Greyhound bus. Sumpter Police sent out a Nixle alert asking for help in locating Ritchie and posted Ritchie’s photo on Facebook. Police received a solid tip.
Ritchie was apprehended two days after the shooting by U.S. Marshals when the bus stopped in Tulsa, OK. From there Ritchie waived his right to extradition and was eventually transported back to Michigan where the warrant was served.
Richie is charged with six felonies: assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, felony assault with a dangerous weapon, felony firearms and discharging a weapon in or at a building.
Judge Oakley explained to Ritchie that they were going to do a referral to help him understand what the charges are and to help his defense attorney, whether it be Lankford or another attorney.
When Ritchie was asked if he understood, his reply was unclear.
Judge Oakley explained to Ritchie that they would adjourn his case for six weeks, but it might be longer.
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By Diane Madigan