Friday’s session was scheduled as a sentencing hearing, but as the day went on, and the family waited for court to begin, the parties involved were meeting behind closed doors.
Shortly before 4 p.m., Faulkner came out and stated that he wanted to withdraw the guilty plea that had been previously submitted.
According to Pete Wilson of the Jackson Telegram, who was in the court room, Holzapfel took the request under advisement and asked Faulkner and Jackson County Prosecutor Jonathan Blanton to put their arguments in writing.
The request by Faulkner is reportedly the result of the findings of a psychiatric evaluation done on Evans to assess his mental competency during the time the crime occurred.
In January, Evans pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and complicity to commit aggravated burglary, in a bizarre case that involved three co-conspirators in addition to Evans in the death of his wife, Carol Evans at their home on Camba Road in Jackson.
Prosecutors say Terry Vance broke into the home and strangled Carol Evans, and that Vance, Heather Speakman and Randy Faught, entered guilty pleas.
Vance and Speakman pleaded guilty to multiple charges connected with the murder and the alleged conspiracy that led to the murder, and Faught pleaded guilty only to extortion. Vance is serving an 18-year term, Speakman a 20-year term and Faught a 5-year term.
After Friday’s hearing, Wilson said Faulkner told him if the plea is set aside, it could possibly lead to a not guilty plea on behalf of Evans, based on his lack of mental competency at the time the crime was committed. Meanwhile, Evans remains in the Scioto County Jail.
“I’m saying that Dave Evans never killed anybody and never paid anybody to kill anybody,” Faulkner reportedly told Wilson.
In September of 2008, when Evans was incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail, Associated Press reporter Meghan Barr talked with Evans’ daughter Debby Crabtree who had come to visit her father, who had yet to go on trial.
“By the time it all settles out, I’ve lost my mom, I’ve lost my dad,” Crabtree said. “I’ve never seen my father as a person capable of this kind of evil.”
Since that story, her father pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and complicity to commit aggravated burglary, and the other three defendants were, at the time, prepared to testify against Evans.
Crabtree reflected on the situation that produced an incident that would, to most people, be unthought of.
“Over the years, love and hate can get mixed up.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101 Ext. 232.