Competency hearing postponed for Smithfield man

Chad Laughlin, 27, is accused of assaulting a family member, Tuesday February 12, 2014 and violating his probation.  He was arrested in Barstow California March 5 and extradited back to the Cache County Jail. 

LOGAN — The competency hearing for a 27-year-old Smithfield man, arrested in California on assault and probation violations has been postponed for a week.

Chad Laughlin appeared in 1st District Court Monday after being evaluated on whether he was mentally competent to stand trial. His defense attorney told the court he received the completed evaluation on Friday. It recommended that Laughlin be sent to the state mental hospital for six-months so they can try to restore his competency.

Neither the court nor the state said they had received a copy of the evaluation. Judge Thomas Willmore rescheduled the hearing for next Monday to allow everyone time to review the evaluation.

Laughlin was originally booked into the Cache County Jail in March after being arrested by police in Barstow, California.

In February, Laughlin barricaded himself in a Logan office building restroom and threatened to commit suicide. After approximately an hour of negotiations with police, he came out and was turned over to medical personnel for treatment.

Several days later he was released from Logan Regional Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit. He was picked up by a family member who he later reportedly assaulted, before fleeing the state in a white pickup truck.

The truck was found by Barstow City Police outside a local motel. He was found at a nearby mobile home park with a woman, later identified as his sister.

Laughlin has been charged with theft and possession or use of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony, failure to follow police orders, a third-degree felony and five misdemeanors including threat of terrorism, theft, assault and communications fraud.

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