A Franklin circuit judge has ordered a Frankfort man – accused of causing a 10-hour standoff in South Frankfort and shooting at local police – to take his prescription medication in order to stand trial.
William Durham, 60, is charged with three counts of at tempted murder of a police officer and two counts of wanton endangerment after the March 29 standoff with city and state police at Salem Square Apartments on East Fourth Street.
During a closed disability trial Wednesday morning, Timothy Allen, a staff psychiatrist at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in LaGrange, said Durham is competent to stand trial as long as he is on medication, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said during an open hearing following that trial.
Durham’s brother, who lives near Louisville, is acting as his guardian to make medical decisions on his behalf.
Allen said he should have a Haloperidol, or Haldol, a prescription used to treat schizophrenia, shot taken every four weeks. Wingate says Durham is now five days overdue on the prescription.
“I ain’t taking no medicine, Judge Wingate,” Durham said. “They don’t have a psychologist out there (at Franklin County Regional Jail).”
During the open hearing, Durham laughed often and spoke freely, which prompted his family and court officials to laugh also. Durham, with graying hair, wore a white T-shirt and had metal cuffs on his wrists and ankles as he told the judge he wouldn’t be forced to take medication.
“I’m telling you that I did shoot…” Durham said Wednesday before his attorney, public defender Emily Wilkey, insisted he stop talking.
“Here’s what the court’s concern is going to be, you have to be on this medication to be competent,” Wilkey said. “We can’t even discuss a plea agreement until we know you are back on that medication.”
Wingate offered to grant Durham a furlough day from the jail every four weeks to have his preferred doctor administer the shot, but it was agreed that, instead of a furlough with his brother, the jail would transport him to Comprehensive Care.
Durham will remain on the medication until a plea is entered or the case goes through trial.
“Once we go to trial or enter a plea we may look at the situation at that time, and you may have to continue to be on medication or not,” Wingate explained to Durham.
During the standoff, neighbors told The State Journal Durham was weaning himself from the medication that he had taken for more than 20 years.
Police said a neighbor called dispatch when she saw Durham loading a handgun after they exchanged words. The officers performed a domestic check, but Durham told them to leave, and after a few words, police lost contact with him.
Over the course of the standoff, Durham allegedly fired at least three shots from the apartment. Police used an irritant gas to force him out and he was taken into custody.