Harris denied bond in Columbia shooting

Floyd Henry Harris was denied bond in a hearing in Fluvanna County General District Court Tuesday morning (May 16).

Floyd Harris, 64, was arrested on May 5 following the shooting of a Columbia man. He is charged with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in a felony.

At Floyd Harris’ May 9 arraignment, Judge Dale Durrer ordered him to undergo psychiatric evaluation at University of Virginia Medical Center after family members raised concerns over his mental condition.

Pastor Leon Harris spoke to the judge during the bond hearing. He described his brother’s mental deterioration over the past year or so as “a gradual process,” a series of subtle attitude changes that worried the family to the point where Floyd Harris’ wife had called doctors and even county authorities to see if they could get him some help. Her husband, however, had resisted.  

“I think my brother is in denial,” Leon Harris told the judge.

Defense attorney John Gibson argued for Floyd Harris to be released on bond, saying his client had no prior criminal record or known incidents of violence and should not be sitting in jail for the several more weeks it might take for doctors to create a complete psychiatric report. 

Leon Harris said he was willing to take full responsibility for his brother if he were granted bond.

But Commonwealth's Attorney Jeff Haislip argued that Floyd Harris was facing serious charges and that he could pose a threat to public safety if he were released before his full mental condition was known.

Given the questions about Floyd Harris’s mental health issues, Durrer ordered him held without bond until doctors complete a full assessment. He is scheduled to appear for review on July 11.