Ogden church shooting suspect found competent to stand trial

Posted at 11:30 AM, Sep 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-09 21:02:54-04

OGDEN, Utah -- The man accused of shooting and injuring his father-in-law at St. James Catholic Church on Father's Day appeared in court for a competency hearing Monday.

Two experts conducted a mental evaluation on Charles Jennings Jr., 35, and both found that he is competent to stand trial, but with possible diminished mental capacity.

"Both evaluators expressed the opinion that there was some question," said Mike Bouwhuis, Jenning's attorney. "here appears to be some level of diminished capacity at the time of the alleged offense."

Jennings allegedly pointed a gun at church members after shooting his father-in-law, and also allegedly threatened two people at their homes before police said he stole a car and drove to Brigham City. Jennings eventually ran out of gas and surrendered to police.

Detectives said Jennings told him he’d been hypnotized before the shooting. His attorney said he also suffered a major head injury 10 years ago.

James Evans, Jenning's father-in-law, continues to recover from the bullet wound to the back of his beak, which missed his brain.

"Despite the fact it might not appear so, he does feel some remorse for what happened but I can't get into that any more at this point," Bouqhuis said.

Jennings is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 3.

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