Suspected CMU shooter appears in court, medical records discussed


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James Eric Davis Jr. sits in Isabella County Trial Court during his hearing on March 19, 2018.

James Eric Davis Jr. appeared in Isabella County Trial Court on March 19 for a hearing about the prosecution's possession of his medical records, which were ordered by the court to be returned. 

Police believe Davis Jr. shot and killed his parents, James Eric Davis Sr. and Diva Davis on March 2 in his room on the fourth floor of Campbell Hall. He is charged with two counts of homicide-open murder and one count of felony-possession of a firearm to commit a murder. 

A quiet Davis Jr. appeared alongside his court appointed attorney, Josh Blanchard, in front of Judge Paul H. Chamberlain. 

A competency examination was ordered by the court on March 12 to determine whether Davis Jr. is mentally competent enough to withstand trial. Blanchard told Chamberlain the prosecution petitioned search warrants for all of Davis Jr.'s confidential medical records — including any psychiatric evaluations — on March 6 and 7.

"Unless (the prosecution is) clairvoyant I don't know how they could have petitioned for a search warrant that contain records that they thought could be somehow relevant to competency prior to knowing competency was an issue," Blanchard said.

Since these documents were not court ordered, Blanchard felt this was a violation of Davis Jr.'s rights and asked that all the records be returned to the court and accounted for. 

Prosecuting Attorney Mark Kowalczyk said these medical documents are essential for the forensic psychiatrist to be able to formulate an opinion during Davis Jr.'s competency exam.

Chamberlain asked Kowalczyk what evidence the prosecution is looking for with the search warrant and how it ties to the investigation. 

"What are you looking for? You're on a fishing expedition and you've got privilege," Chamberlain said. 

After Chamberlain felt the prosecution did not need to be in possession of Davis Jr.'s medical records, he ordered the prosecution to return all records, whether they be physical copy or electronic copy to the court by March 20. He said electronic copies must be locked and made so they cannot be accessed by anyone. 

Davis Jr. has been lodged in the Isabella Country Jail since March 7. His next court date will take place following a competency examination. 

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About Emma Dale

One of two News Editors, Emma Dale is a sophomore from Grand Haven double majoring in journalism ...

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