An Augusta Count Circuit Court judge on Friday ruled a Stuarts Draft man incompetent to stand trial on charges in the razing of his own home.
Judge Victor V. Ludwig ordered Ray Arnold Eavey, 53, hospitalized for rehabilitation until his condition improves. Attorneys said he’ll be reviewed every 45 days.
Authorities in May 2010 charged Eavey with arson and obtaining money through false pretenses after they said he set flames to his modular home on Twin Hill Road. Eavey caught more trouble during his time in Middle River Regional Jail in Verona, including a probation violation and a charge of prisoner in possession of a deadly weapon, court records state.
On March 16, Eavey underwent an eight hour evaluation at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy in Charlottesville. Defense attorney Frankie Coyner said doctors ruled the man may someday recover.
“They say with anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers he can be rehabilitated,” Coyner said, noting that Eavey has been hospitalized before. “We’ve already been through it once and now we’re doing it again.”
Eavey, a military veteran, suffered a shoulder injury while serving in the military in Bosnia, said his wife, Song Eavey. She said his injury and subsequent surgery affected his spine and led to other physical problems. She said her husband suffered from thoughts of the violence and sadness he witnessed overseas.
Augusta County Circuit Court records show Eavey started receiving Social Security benefits in the early 2000s to help ease his struggle with bipolar disease and schizophrenia.
Coyner said Eavey will likely go to Central State Hospital in Petersburg with the possibility of moving to another hospital at a later date.