No evaluation slows child murder case

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 07:07 PM

Vincent Eugene Gregory, the 47-year-old facing multiple charges in the death of 5-year-old Jayden Chad Stokes, appeared in Vance County Superior Court Tuesday.

Gregory’s case was forwarded to May 21. His attorney, Nick Bagshawe, had filed a motion for mental evaluation which had yet to be completed. He remains held in jail with bond set at $1,001,000.

Gregory faces charges of second-degree murder, felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, driving while impaired and driving while license revoked.

“The defendant’s attorney has filed a motion for evaluation to determine his capacity to proceed,” said Bill Griffin, an assistant district attorney. “Until we receive a report from the examining psychiatrist to evaluate his capacity to proceed, we are unable to move forward with the case.”

The courtroom, as it has in the past, included several members of Stokes’ family. Some wore T-shirts with his picture. They occupied the front rows and remained silent during the proceedings.

Bagshawe attempted to discuss a bond reduction.

Griffin told Judge Elaine Bushfan the state would prefer his “capacity to proceed” be resolved before any discussion on bond. Bushfan responded, “I’d prefer he remain in custody.”

Afterward, Griffin said, “The court directed the jail to provide transportation for the evaluation. And once the evaluation is done and reported to the court, the court will make a determination as to his capacity to proceed and we can hopefully go forward at that time.”

Gregory is charged with operating a vehicle about 1 p.m. on Jan. 27 that crashed in the 600 block of East Montgomery Street, killing Stokes and critically injuring his father, Richard Thomas Stokes. The two were on a Sunday afternoon walk to a neighborhood park.

A police report signed by officer Chris Martin indicated Gregory was weeping and wandering the area after the crash, his speech was slurred, his eyes glassy and the odor of alcohol was on his breath and clothing.

Police seized beer bottles and 13 packets of suboxone medication from the GMC truck he was driving. The truck was registered to Coretta Mae Wimbush, of the same 270 Sparrow Lane address as Gregory.

According to court records, Gregory is named in more than 30 references to past incidents of driving while license revoked. He’s also had charges of fictional driving documentation, driving uninsured, unsafe movement, seat belt infractions and a three-count felony drug possession case.

 

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.