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AUSTIN EDITION Alleged assaulter requests a psychological evaluation

By Tim Ruzek

truzek@postbulletin.com

A psychologist will decide the competency of a 42-year-old Austin man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in December while burglarizing a southwest Austin home.

Last Friday, defense attorney Matthew Arthurs asked at an omnibus hearing in Mower District Court for an evaluation to see if his client, Johnny Eugene Davis, is competent to stand trial.

Davis, 911 Eighth Ave. N.W., has talked with him about mental health issues and symptoms he's having, Arthurs said.

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Judge Donald E. Rysavy approved the competency exam with the plan for Davis to enter a provisional plea afterward on the sex assault and burglary case, as well as on an unrelated felony fraud case.

Rysavy said he hoped the evaluation could be done in the next day or so.

Sheriff Terese Amazi said after the hearing that Davis is being detained at the state prison in Oak Park Heights because of security and segregation issues at the Mower County jail. The jail is full and doesn't have the ability to isolate inmates, she said.

When Davis' conditional bail of $250,000 was set in December, Judge Fred Wellmann noted a study that found Davis has a history of being an escape risk.

Davis is charged with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a dangerous weapon, four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a single count of first-degree burglary with a dangerous weapon, two counts of first-degree burglary and a single count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Arthurs also told the judge he hadn't found any relevant issues related to evidence to challenge but he wanted the right to argue probable cause later, depending on the results of DNA testing in the case.

Kristen Nelsen, assistant county attorney, told the court the DNA results likely would be given to the defense in two months.

According to the complaint, the incident occurred early Dec. 23. The victim told police she had been sleeping on a couch in the home when Davis entered through an unlocked side door about 3:45 a.m. and awakened her, holding a knife to her throat and threatening to kill her if she screamed. He bound and gagged her, the woman said, then later untied the cords and sexually assaulted her. He then fled with stolen items after being chased from the home by a man in the house.

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Davis told police he was high on methamphetamine at the time but didn't recall assaulting a woman.

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