CROWN POINT — A man accused last year of attacking two men with machetes in Gary remains jailed months after court-appointed doctors determined he was not fit for trial.
A defense attorney said Tuesday that his client, Tyrone D. Hammons, was waiting for an available bed at a state mental institution. In the meantime, the judge has ordered another mental competency review.
Hammons, 53, of Gary, is charged in Lake Criminal Court with attempted murder and felony battery in two separate machete attacks Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at his home in the 500 block of Kentucky Street, court records state.
One man was treated for lacerations on his hand and arm, records state, and the second man was treated for a gash to his head, multiple cuts on his legs and the partial severing of his right thumb.
The men told police they knew Hammons for decades before the attacks.
Judge Samuel L. Cappas ruled in November that Hammons was mentally incompetent and unable to stand trial. He committed Hammons to Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration and ordered the administration to prepare a mental health report within 90 days, court records state.
Defense attorney Lemuel Stigler appeared Tuesday with Hammons in Lake Criminal Court. He told the judge the case was supposed to be handled by the state agency, but Hammons has not been transferred to a mental health facility.
He requested a new mental competency review and a trial date.
Cappas granted the request for a second mental competency review. He scheduled an Aug. 13 trial.
Deputy Warden Kimberly O'Connor said Tuesday there were several inmates awaiting beds at the state's mental health institutions, but Hammons was not on the jail's list. She said the Lake County Jail never received the judge's order to transport Hammons.
Stigler said after Tuesday's court hearing that he wanted the new mental competency review to determine whether Hammons has regained competency while being treated at Lake County Jail. He said if he has not regained competency, he would need to be transported to a state facility.
Sherree Ethely, Hammons' sister, attended Hammons' court hearing Tuesday. She said her brother spiraled into a depression after their mother's death in August 2016 and believed he needed long-term mental health treatment.