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Bond denied in hatchet attack case

POSTED: October 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by Patty Leon/

Wallace James, seated next to his public defender, Snehal Patel, buries his face in his hands as he listens to testimony Monday during his bond hearing in Liberty County Superior Court. Judge Paul Rose denied bond and ordered James' to undergo a mental evaluation.

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Wallace James, the man allegedly responsible for a double homicide in Riceboro on Aug. 28, was denied bond Monday morning in Liberty County Superior Court.
James is accused of striking his mother, Francena James, and his cousin, Abraham Moody, with an object described by Liberty County Sheriff’s deputies as an ax or hatchet.
Both of the attacks allegedly took place in front of witnesses inside James' house and his cousin's.
Francena James was found dead inside her home. Moody died from his injuries at a hospital.
James, who faces two counts of murder, also was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation by Superior Court Judge Paul Rose.
Det. Julie Hibbeler testified for the state and described the events that led to James' arrest. During her testimony, Hibbler said James was observed by an officer walking down Barrington Ferry Road on the day of the alleged murders.
According to the deputy's statements, the deputy approached the suspect and James threw his hands in the air. The officer reportedly placed James in handcuffs and asked him what was going on, to which James allegedly replied, "I killed the serpent. I'm from mystery land."
James sat next to his public defender, Snehal Patel, at times nodding his head in agreement or disagreement, other times he looked around the courthouse, mumbling to himself.
According to Hibbeler, James waived his rights and detective Charles Woodall took the suspect's confession.
Patel questioned whether detectives took James' state of mind into consideration, saying anyone who would make a comment about killing a serpent should not have been allowed to waive his rights or make statements without representation.
James's friends and relatives have said he has a history of mental illness and in court, Hibbeler said James had once been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
James has no previous criminal history.

 

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