Last updated: January 31. 2014 11:30PM - 2517 Views
Amber Gillenwater agillenwater@civitasmedia.com

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GALLIPOLIS — The question of whether a former Gallia County attorney, who is facing multiple charges of kidnapping, rape and abduction, is competent to stand trial has been raised in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County.

According to documents filed in the case of Richard C. Roderick, the defendant has been ordered to submit to an evaluation by an examiner of Woodland Centers, Inc., to determine his competence to stand trial.

The 71-year-old Roderick was arrested on November 23, 2013, by Gallipolis Police Officers following an incident that occurred at his residence in the 200 block of First Avenue in Gallipolis.

Reportedly, the Gallia County 911 center received a call from inside the home on November 23 and the operator could hear what sounded like an argument in the background. Officers were then dispatched to the residence, and, upon arrival, found the front door of the residence open.

Based on information obtained during the call, as well as other recent occurrences, the officers believed there was a crime of violence taking place and entered the home.

The officers located the residents in a bedroom, and the male subject, identified as Roderick, was found reportedly attempting to tie up the female subject and hold her against her will.

The suspect was arrested for kidnapping and transported to the Middleport Jail.

An initial hearing in this case was held in the Gallipolis Municipal Court on November 26, and the case was subsequently bound over to the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County where it was heard by a grand jury.

The indictment in this case, filed on December 5 and signed by the special prosecutor in this case, Angela R. Canepa, a Senior Assistant Ohio Attorney General, outlines fourteen charges: three counts of kidnapping with sexual motivation and sexually violent predator specifications, three counts of rape with sexual motivation an sexually violent predator specifications, two counts of abduction, attempted rape, felonious assault, and the possession of criminal tools, which the indictment describes as “various forms of binding and/or torture material and/or instruments.”

In addition, Roderick is facing two counts of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer after he led Gallipolis Police Officers on a chase on October 31 from the Gallia County Courthouse parking lot on Second Avenue to Mill Creek Road and then back down Second Avenue. Officers, working in tandem, reportedly slowed Roderick’s car to a stop by braking in front of it. He was later arrested.

The final charge listed on the defendant’s indictment is a misdemeanor charge which alleges that on October 31, Roderick knowingly caused or attempted to cause physical harm to a health care professional of a hospital during the performance of his duties.

During Roderick’s arraignment hearing in December before Dale A. Crawford, a retired judge of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, and the judge by assignment in this case, the defendant, who was present with his appointed counsel, Richard Hedges, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Bond in this case was not set as the court determined that “the accused poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm to himself and others in the community and that no release will reasonably assure the safety of that person in the community.”

He has remained in the custody of the Gallia County Sheriff and is currently incarcerated in the Middleport Jail.

An entry filed on January 29 with the Gallia County Clerk of Courts and signed by both Canepa and Hedges orders that the defendant be evaluated at the Middleport Jail, and, within 30 days of the days of the entry, the examining psychiatrist shall file a report with the court.

The report should indicate whether the defendant is capable of understanding the nature and objective of the proceedings against him, whether or not he is capable of assisting in his own defense, and whether it is the examiner’s opinion that the defendant is presently mentally ill.

Upon receipt of this report, the court will conduct further proceedings in this case.

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