A court-ordered mental health evaluation has found Jerry Lee Curry, 52, competent to stand trial for charges that he abused his developmentally disabled daughters. However, Curry's defense attorney want a second opinion.
William 'Butch' Selman said Tuesday he will get another evaluation from a separate examiner. A contested hearing will likely be held after the results are finished. Selman said it may take several weeks to complete the exam.
Curry had long suffered from mental health problems, said Selman during a hearing held in September. However, Selman said that's not the same as mental incompetency. If Curry cannot understand the basics of what's involved in his legal defense, Minnesota law requires that a defendant undergo treatment designed to restore their competency.
Curry's co-defendant, the children's mother, Shelia Machelle Wilson, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal neglect on Sept. 19. During her plea hearing, Wilson admitted to the crime and agreed to testify during Curry's trial.
In court transcripts, Wilson described Curry's alleged crimes against his daughters, including chaining them inside their south Minneapolis home.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Cheri Townsend asked Wilson how and when Curry restrained the young women. Wilson said Curry attached chains to their daughters' wrists or ankles on multiple occasions.
"If we go somewhere or when we go to sleep because he feels like they going to go steal money or go and steal food and hide it somewhere," said Wilson.
Townsend then asked Wilson if she knew Curry was doing this, and Wilson responded "yeah." And Wilson said Curry told her to participate in some of the abuse.
"He'd ask me to hit them and if I don't do it, he'll come at me..." said Wilson.
Townsend reminded Wilson that her fear of retaliation from Curry was "not necessarily a legal excuse" for not intervening.
Wilson also admitted to either lying to doctors about the injuries her daughters suffered at the hands of their father, or failing to get medical treatment. One daughter, described in the criminal complaint as 'victim A' was blinded in one eye. Wilson said the injury was caused by Curry hitting the young woman with a baseball bat.
The criminal charges against Curry also allege that he raped and impregnated his daughter known as 'victim B' who gave birth to the child last October. That baby girl has been placed in a foster home with her four-year-old brother. According to court records, the four-year-old boy's father is not known. And the boy's foster parents have expressed an interest in adopting the siblings.
The third daughter of Curry and Wilson, known as 'victim C' was removed from the home at the age of 11. She has been living with a relative.
Curry faces eight felony charges and one gross misdemeanor. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2019. However, it's not clear if the additional mental health evaluation will push the trial back.