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Man charged with throwing destructive device at restaurant window found incompetent to stand trial

May 30, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A man accused of throwing a device similar to a Molotov cocktail at a window of the McDonald’s along Apple Harvest Drive near exit 12 of Interstate 81 was found not competent to stand trial.

Nicholas Hart Dudley, 19, of 1213 West Virginia Ave., Martinsburg, was indicted in October 2011, on one count of second-degree arson and counts of possession, criminal use of, and wanton endangerment involving a destructive device, explosive material or incendiary device, according to court records.

Police said the glass bottle thrown at the Martinsburg-area restaurant at 14634 Apple Harvest Drive the afternoon of April 12, 2011, had a flammable liquid inside and a rag stuffed in the top of it. 

A small fire started when the bottle hit the window, causing some minor damage to concrete outside the restaurant while multiple patrons were inside, police had said.

The restaurant has since been demolished to make way for a new McDonald’s to be built on the site.

Dudley, who has been a patient at William R. Sharpe Jr., Hospital in Weston, W.Va., for several months, did not attend Wednesday’s hearing in which 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes noted findings that the defendant was “not likely to regain competency to stand trial in the foreseeable future.”

Given findings that Dudley does not have a rational understanding of the proceeding against him, Wilkes ordered that Dudley be committed to Sharpe Hospital, according to the order, which was signed by the judge, Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones and defense attorney B. Craig Manford.

Dudley entered the inpatient mental health facility in November 2011 after being committed by the court in October at the time of his indictment, according to court records.

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