Former KCSO chief’s mental health debated as he awaits trial

David Henderson was a veteran sheriff’s office investigator and administrator who was charged in federal court with conspiracy to commit program fraud.

Knoxville, Tenn. – A federal magistrate wants to see an expert’s assessment in writing and examine another’s qualifications as a retired narcotics investigator insists he’s not competent to stand trial on a charge that stems from his time with the Knox County Sheriff. Desk.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill E. McCook has scheduled a court hearing Tuesday in Knoxville for David Henderson, a KCSO veteran charged with conspiracy to commit program fraud.

Rob Kurtz, Henderson’s attorney, maintains that his client is in poor mental and physical health and is unable to stand trial. It’s up to McCook to ultimately decide if Henderson is ready to face prosecution.

Kurtz told the court last month that Dr. Malcolm Spica, a neuropsychologist, assessed Henderson twice – in January 2022 and in September. It is Spica’s opinion that Henderson is not competent to be sued.

The government wants to see more evidence of Henderson’s mental state. McCook wants to see an official report from Spica.

On McCook’s orders, Henderson will face a second mental evaluation, possibly by Dr. Stephen A. Montgomery, an expert proposed by the government.

Montgomery would review Spica’s report on Henderson or may conduct an independent review of him, according to court records.

McCook gives Spica 30 days to prepare a report of his evaluation of Henderson. With Tuesday’s hearing, the court also wants to know how long it would take Montgomery to review Spica’s report or make his own assessment.

Montgomery is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University. He also specializes in forensic psychiatry, according to Vanderbilt.

Spica is based in Knoxville. He performs neuropsychological assessments and has participated in civil and criminal proceedings, according to a summary of his professional background.

A federal grand jury indicted Henderson in February. He was driven to court in a wheelchair for his first appearance that month before McCook.

Henderson previously oversaw the narcotics division of the sheriff’s office. He ran it and used the money the department had to dispense favors and tend to friends and personal whims, court records show.

An FBI investigation raised questions about how he used money from the seized drug fund and a drug expense card.

The indictment alleges other unnamed people joined him in the conspiracy and the activity continued for approximately seven years, from 2011 to 2018, while Henderson oversaw the sheriff’s narcotics unit. .

Former KCSO chief’s mental health debated as he awaits trial

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