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Roach ordered to cooperate with mental evaluation

Little Joe Roach, the Scottsville man who is charged with shooting a neighbor and sparking a seven-hour standoff with law enforcement in April, was back in Fluvanna County Circuit Court Thursday (Aug. 31) for a hearing that ended with him being ordered to undergo in-patient psychiatric evaluation at Central State Hospital in Petersburg.

Roach, who has been held at Central Virginia Regional Jail (CVRJ) since his arrest May 1, was ordered to undergo a mental competency evaluation at a hearing in July, but the doctor was unable to complete the full examination. 

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Haislip told Judge Richard Moore that the assigned psychiatrist was concerned Roach wasn’t cooperating with the evaluation process.

Moore ordered that Roach be sent to Central State for up to 30 days and be returned to CVRJ as soon as the evaluation is finished.

“I’m also ordering him to cooperate with the staff of Central State,” said Moore. “It’s to his benefit to do so.”

Roach now faces 13 felony charges stemming from the April 30 shooting near his Hardware Hills home, including three counts of attempted malicious wounding, two counts of assault and battery on law enforcement officers, three counts of the use of a firearm in a felony, two counts of malicious shooting or throwing of a missile at an occupied dwelling, and one count of aggravated malicious wounding.

At a preliminary hearing in General District Court in June, members of the Townsend family testified that they were standing in their driveway when Roach suddenly began shooting at them from his yard. Sara Townsend Williams sustained a shrapnel wound to the face when she arrived to assist her parents.

Roach will appear in court Oct. 5 for a status update.