Federal Judge Orders Casper Man Detained for Mental Health Checks
A Casper man who held a state employee hostage and later threatened a judge agreed that he should be held in custody for the time being for the safety and property of others, according to an order of commitment signed by a federal judge after a hearing on Monday.
"The government and the defendant [David Michael Chavis] have stipulated the defendant's release would create such substantial risks," U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson wrote.
Johnson ordered Chavis to be placed in the custody of the U.S. Attorney General, who shall persuade Wyoming to take care of him.
If that doesn't happen, Johnson wrote the U.S. Attorney shall determine whether people and their property would be safe if Chavis were to be released or conditionally released with the proper health care.
After further evaluations, the federal court will have another hearing to determine if he can be released, the judge wrote.
The hearing and order on Monday marked the latest legal proceedings in a case that started on Aug. 5, 2016, when he entered the office of the Attorney General's Medical Review Panel, 800 Werner Court, and held a hostage at knife point. The incident ended peacefully.
Chavis, who has been in custody since then, had a long criminal history.
He was charged in Natrona County District Court with kidnapping, aggravated assault and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to threaten the life of another.
After mental health and competency evaluations, District Court Judge Daniel Forgey dismissed the case in February 2018.
The federal government took over the case after Chavis sent U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl a threatening letter in December 2017.
In September 2018, Johnson found Chavis to be mentally incompetent to stand trial.
In July, Johnson declared he was "not guilty only by reason of insanity" and that he has since been restored to competence, but "his release would create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person or serious damage to the property of another."