Evaluation resets murder hearing

Becky Campbell • Apr 11, 2012 at 11:20 PM

A motion hearing for a man charged with killing his ex-wife’s boyfriend was reset Wednesday because he’s still undergoing some type of evaluation.

James Henry Allen, 50, of Church Hill, is charged with first-degree murder in the May 12, 2010, shooting death of Richard Carter in Fall Branch.

Allen, who is in jail on the charge, did not attend Wednesday’s hearing because he is apparently at another location for the evaluation.

“Mr. Allen is undergoing an evaluation today,” Bill Donaldson, one of his attorneys, told Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp.

“We may have motions to file based on the evaluation,” he said.

He did not specify what type of evaluation Allen is having, but it’s likely a mental assessment.

Funds to hire an expert in the case was approved during an ex parte hearing between Cupp, Allen and his defense attorneys.

Allen has two public defenders as his attorneys so money for experts must be paid by the state and approved by the judge. In such a circumstance the defense does not have to disclose to prosecutors what type of expert they intend to hire.

Allen was arrested the day after sheriff’s investigators say he shot and killed Carter, 44, of Gray. After the shooting, Allen fled on foot and hid out in the woods overnight.

Carter was standing inside the mobile home where Allen’s ex-wife, Deborah Franklin, lived when the shooting occurred.

During a preliminary hearing in 2010, Franklin testified she and Carter heard her dogs barking that night, but he went out to look around. After he went back inside the trailer he was standing behind the closed front door looking out the window when he was shot.

Allen told investigators he was angry that Franklin allowed Carter to move into the home he once shared with her. He told officers he was watching the residence that night and had even removed the porch light bulb so he could pet his dog without being detected.

Allen also told officers he thought Carter was reaching for something and that’s when Allen fired through the door.

Allen is being held on a $301,000 bond. His next court date is June 21.

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