As a judge granted a mental exam for a man who claims he doesn’t remember stealing a police car and shooting at people in Dothan in mid-June, additional charges were filed by a state agency.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation has charged 42-year-old Jeffrey Michael Stewart, of Jakin, Georgia, with two counts of attempted murder, first-degree robbery, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, discharging a gun into an occupied building, and interfering with public safety communications.
A judge denied a motion to reduce his bonds Thursday that are set at $285,000.
These charges are in addition to charges filed by the Dothan Police Department after the June 16 crimes of two counts of attempted murder, making a terrorist threat, and three counts of criminal mischief – all based on events that occurred before Stewart was shot by a police officer at the Volkswagen dealership.
Stewart exchanged gunfire with Dothan police and was shot in the abdomen, per police reports. He then stole the officer’s car, and drove around the circle while being pursued by law enforcement from multiple agencies until he was cornered on Denton Road.
Stewart used the police communications inside the cop car to reportedly threaten officers, but a skilled negotiator talked him down and he eventually surrendered.
Christopher Williams, Stewart’s lawyer, said Stewart appeared disoriented and confused while speaking with his counsel and did not seem to remember the reasons he was incarcerated.
During discussions, Williams said Stewart also espoused an elaborate conspiracy theory not relevant to his current legal situation, according to court record.
He filed a motion to have Stewart’s mental health examined, saying “Stewart seems to be in no condition to fruitfully collaborate in his legal defense in this state” and “the totality of the circumstances of the arrest of Mr. Stewart lend themselves to a mental health evaluation.”
Stewart, who is being held at the Houston County Jail, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Sable Riley is a Dothan Eagle staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334.712.7915. Support her work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com.