HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Cory Bigsby, the father of missing Hampton child Codi Bigsby, will undergo mental health treatment for around two months.
The judge ordered Bigsby to undergo “restoration services” on Friday, after months of arguing between his attorneys and the Commonwealth about his mental capacity to stand trial.
This means his trial for multiple child neglect charges will be delayed once again.
Also in court Friday, the judge discussed a motion filed by Bigsby’s defense team to drop the charges. They based their motion on evidence obtained by the Commonwealth, which the defense claims wasn’t submitted to defense for months.
The evidence is a written statement Bigsby wrote while in jail. Bigsby’s defense team said the Commonwealth got a copy of that letter on August 3, but did not share it with the defense team until November.
“I have concerns,” said Amina Matheny-Willard, Bigsby’s lawyer.
Matheny-Willard tells 10 On Your Side that the letter “changes the course” of Bigsby’s trial and shows that his mental health is deteriorating, but will not share what the letter said.
“He lost his son, and then he lost his mind,” Matheny-Willard said.
4-year-old Codi has been missing for over a year. His father, Cory Bigsby, reported him missing and police say Cory is the only person of interest in the case.
Cory is going to Eastern State Hospital for a “restoration process” to help restore his mental capacity so he can get to a point where he is capable in participating in his trial.
His next hearing is set for June 14.
Cory Bigsby faces 30 child abuse and neglect charges, but nothing related to Codi’s disappearance.
His first exam determined he was competent to stand trial. That test was conducted by a court-appointed psychologist.
Bigsby’s attorneys hired their own psychologist who determined he was not competent. However, that psychologist was not on the approved commissioner’s list of evaluators, so the opinion wasn’t considered.
10 On Your Side spoke with a legal expert who explained what a competency test is.
“Competency is simply the defendant’s capability of assisting his defense attorney, and does he understand what’s going on?” says Jennifer Gebler with Decker Law Firm. “Does he understand the charges that are against him? So it’s really ensuring that there is due process.”
“If the defendant is found to be incompetent to stand trial, it’s important to know competency is not a static condition. A defendant can be found to be incompetent and if so, what happens is called a restoration proceeding which is ordered by the court. It’s when the defendant meets with a team of mental health professionals to help the client understand the legal process.”
Members of the Bigsby family held a conference following Friday morning’s hearing to discuss how they feel about where the case stands. Watch the full press conference below:
Bigsby’s attorneys are working to get the charges against his dropped. His legal team filed a motion Thursday afternoon to dismiss the case. They claim the commonwealth uncovered new evidence last August they didn’t share with his defense team for months. His defense team says that evidence is a letter written by Bigsby in jail, which shows his mental health is deteriorating.
The contents of the letter have not been released to the public. WAVY News asked Amina Matheny-Willard, who has seen the letter, if it was a suicide note or any kind of confession. She initially said no, but then revised her response to say “because the statement is verifiably untrue, nonsensical and bizarre, I do not consider it either one.”
She added, “It was enough for us to change our course of action and ask for a competency evaluation and apparently for the commonwealth to hold on to.”
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.