Mental exam ordered for accused Detroit police shooter

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A man accused of shooting two Detroit police officers was ordered to undergo a mental competency and criminal responsibility exam by a Detroit judge Friday.

Raymond Durham, 60, spoke in unintelligible and incoherent sentences Friday as 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King ordered the tests.

Durham’s defense attorney Gabi Silver asked for the exam, saying Durham is “delusional” and “confused” and unable to communicate with her about his case.

“He’s not able to rationally assist in his defense at this time,” Silver told the judge, suggesting that her client may need medication. “It’s going to be up to the experts to decide that not me.”

The exam for Durham, to be conducted at a forensic center in Ypsilanti, will take about 60-90 days to complete because of a backup in cases at the facility, Silver said following the brief Friday hearing. Meanwhile, Durham is being housed in the psychiatric unit of the Wayne County Jail.

After the hearing, Silver reiterated that Durham is “confused” and “unable to communicate with me.” The mental review, she said, will help determine her client’s level of mental competency.

“Everything is at a stand still,” she said. "I can’t proceed in any way with his case until I’m satisfied that he’s competent.”

A female family member at the court Friday questioned why Durham was even brought there, saying “he’s mental. ... He’s incompetent.”

Durham is accused of shooting two Detroit police officers the evening of March 15 near Ash and Tillman on Detroit’s southwest side.

Authorities allege Durham pulled a gun from his waistband and shot the officers around 8:15 p.m.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said last week there is DNA linking Durham to the fatal shooting of Wayne State University police officer Colin Rose Nov. 22 on Lincoln Street near Grand River and Trumbull, a mile and a half from the shooting of the police officers on March 15.

Silver said she didn’t know anything about her client and the Rose case. She said it was a question “best left to the prosecutors.”

Durham, whose family members have said is mentally ill and homeless, allegedly shot the officers when they stopped him for acting erratically. The suspect allegedly fled the scene after shooting the officers, “reloaded” his .38 caliber gun and “burrowed” nearby, waiting to attack the officers a second time.

A couple of hours later, he was discovered by police near Vinewood and Michigan. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment for several gunshot wounds.

Durham will be back in court June 16 for a hearing for a review of the tests.

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