Judge wants to review evidence before ruling on competency

Thursday, August 10th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- A federal judge will review video and audio tapes made by authorities before he rules on whether a former fugitive is competent to stand trial on drug charges.

Willie Edward "Bubby" Hayes, 52, of Okmulgee was arrested in Texas earlier this year on a federal warrant for failing to appear in Oklahoma court on drug charges. He also is among those suspected in connection with the 1998 killing of Rex Wayne Harper, 31, who was shot in the chest as he sat in his dump truck in a Broken Arrow mall parking lot.

Hayes initially was arrested in March 1998 in McAlester by federal agents on complaints of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He was jailed on the federal complaints, then released on bail and was named a federal fugitive when he didn't show up for his court date.

A psychologist hired by Hayes' court-appointed attorney testified Wednesday that Hayes was not competent to stand trial. Hayes testified that he didn't remember being arrested on drug charges in McAlester and didn't understand what he was being held for in Muskogee.

U.S. District Judge Michael Burrage said he wants to see videos taken at the time of the arrest as well as hear recordings of phone conversations with family members while Hayes was at a federal medical center. The hearing is set to conclude Aug. 22.