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Case of Myersville man shot by police postponed for psychiatric evaluation

January 28, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • James Jacob Jardina
James Jacob Jardina

A Myersville, Md., man shot several times by police in a June 2012 incident entered Washington County Circuit Court with the assistance of a walker Monday, but left a few minutes later after his case was postponed to allow a psychiatric evaluation.

James Jacob Jardina, 45, is charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun in a crime of violence, possession of a stolen handgun and other offenses in the June 10 incident at the park-and-ride lot on Mapleville Road off Interstate 70 near Boonsboro.

Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden called the June 10 incident a “suicide by police” attempt.

There are two elements to the evaluation — whether Jardina is competent to stand trial and whether he was criminally responsible at the time of the incident, Creeden said.

“I don’t think that’s seriously in question today,” Creeden said of Jardina’s competency to stand trial. While Jardina might be competent to stand trial, an evaluation could also determine his mental state at the time of the incident.

“Before a person can be found not criminally responsible, they must first be found to be involved in the criminal act,” Assistant State’s Attorney Leon Debes said.

“If a person is found not criminally responsible, then there will be a hearing to determine whether he is a danger to himself or others,” Debes said after the continuance was granted.

A person found not criminally responsible could then be civilly committed until a court determines that person is no longer a threat, Debes said in addressing the process, rather than specific to Jardina’s case.

If found criminally responsible and convicted, Jardina faces up to 25 years in prison on each of the first-degree assault charges.

Police had been looking for Jardina after his wife called to report he was contemplating suicide, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported at the time.

A deputy and a Maryland Department of Natural Resources police officer saw Jardina’s pickup truck in the park-and-ride and, as they approached it, Jardina got out and pointed a 9 mm Ruger semiautomatic handgun at them, police allege.

The officers fired 33 rounds from their .223-caliber semiautomatic rifles, and Jardina was hit four or five times in the hip and torso areas, police said.

The handgun in Jardina’s possession was later discovered to be stolen, police said.

Jardina was hospitalized in Baltimore from the night of the shooting until October, Creeden said after Jardina’s court appearance before Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. He is now being held in the Washington County Detention Center, Creeden said.

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