A Texas man has admitted to killing another Texas man at a Minot hotel in 2011, but he will not be held criminally responsible due to the state's equivalent of the "temporary insanity" defense.
Charles Lee Davis II, 33, of Trinity, appeared in Northwest District Court in Minot Wednesday to enter a plea of not guilty due to lack of criminal responsibility, which was accepted by district Chief Judge William McLees.
Davis admitted stabbing 48-year-old Donald Ray Flowers of Wichita Falls multiple times in a conference room at the Candlewood Suites in southwest Minot on the morning of March 12. Both men were employed by Halliburton at the time and were working in the conference room that morning.
Dave Caldwell/MDN • Charles Lee Davis II, left, is flanked by Ward County Sheriff’s deputies Jamie Williams, center, and Brent Renaud as he leaves the courtroom Wednesday in the Ward County Courthouse in Minot. Davis was ruled not guilty due to lack of criminal responsibility in the murder of Donald Ray Flowers in March 2011 in Minot.
Davis fled the scene on foot, then stole a vehicle several blocks away and drove south on a closed U.S. Highway 83 during a snowstorm. He was later apprehended just north of Bismarck, but told police there he had no recollection of how he had gotten there.
Davis maintained since his initial hearing that he was "woken up" when stopped outside Bismarck, and had no recollection of stabbing Flowers.
Davis was evaluated by doctors for both the state and the defense.
According to McLees, Dr. Stephan Podrygula, who evaluated Davis for the defense, concluded that Davis was competent to stand trial for the crimes, but was not criminally responsible for them.
Dr. Lynne Sullivan, evaluator at the state hospital in Jamestown, concurred that the court should find that Davis was not responsible for his actions at the time.
The court ruling also held that Davis was not guilty due to lack of criminal responsibility for the theft of the vehicle.
McLees ordered that Davis be kept in the custody of law enforcement until he can be evaluated for potential danger to society. From there, possibilities on what could happen to Davis run the complete gamut from being held in state custody via involuntary committal for the rest of his life if found dangerous and mentally ill, to being released if found to be not mentally ill and does not represent a danger to society.
Part of the court order stated that the evaluation be completed before May 1. From there, a dispositional hearing will be scheduled to determine whether Davis is to be involuntarily committed, ordered to undergo outpatient-type treatment with or without being medicated, or released.