Judge orders competency evaluation in UVA Wise hoax case

Photo by Ted Overbay, WJHL-TV

ABINGDON, Va. (WYMT/Bristol Herald Courier) - A judge has ordered a competency evaluation for the man accused of falsely reporting a gunman on the campus of the University of Virginia's College at Wise last month.

The attorney for Bryan A. Hairston sought the psychiatric evaluation, to be done at an outpatient facility, and federal prosecutors have agreed as long as a government expert performs the screening, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Abingdon.

Hairston, 20, of Martinsville, Va., was to be arraigned Thursday by Judge Pamela Meade Sargent, who approved the evaluation Feb. 8, court records show. The arraignment has been postponed until after the evaluation.

The FBI has charged Hairston, a student at the school, with filing the false report that shut down the campus for a multi-agency police response on Jan. 23.

Police say he hoped to deflect attention away from an assault charge filed against him Jan. 19 by a female resident at the college.

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