Competency hearing, trial scheduled for Lincoln County man 

Wesley Levi Gifford

The case against a Lincoln County man accused of assaulting two local deputies back in May 2017 is moving forward with the scheduling of new hearings.

Wesley Levi Gifford, 26, of Stanford, was indicted back in June of that year on charges of second-degree Assault on a Police Officer, third-degree Assault of a Police/Probation Officer, and Resisting Arrest in connection to an alleged May 12, 2017 altercation. Then last February, a Pulaski County grand jury returned a new indictment charging Gifford with first-degree Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (four or more grams of cocaine) due to a discovery subsequent to that incident.

On Thursday in Pulaski Circuit Court, Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy Montgomery gave notice that he intends to consolidate both cases and asked for a trial date since the matter has been ongoing for two years. But there's a question of whether the trial can even occur. Back in January, Gifford's attorney Tucker Richardson filed notice that mental health evidence would be presented. An evaluation was ordered with a sealed report being returned in April.

After conferring with both attorneys, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette has scheduled a competency hearing for August 1, as well as a pretrial conference for September 9. With the trial anticipated to take three days, the judge scheduled it to begin on November 25.

Gifford's charges stem from an investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office. The agency reported at the time that Captain Troy McLin and Dep. Dan Pevley responded to a call from Vaughn Turpin Road of a suspicious person inside a home, threatening to harm himself.

When McLin and Pevley entered the residence, they were met with Gifford allegedly holding a pair of scissors. Already observing a small cut to Gifford's neck, the deputies attempted to take him into custody when he allegedly began to fight them.

The incident resulted in both McLin and Pevley being injured and taken to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. Pevley suffered minor injuries to his face, while McLin required surgery on his ear, allegedly due to being bitten by Gifford.

Gifford also was taken to LCRH for treatment of his self-inflicted injuries before being flown to the U.K. Medical Center by Air Methods.

The following day (May 13, 2017), according to PCSO, a resident found a bag containing a white powdery substance in the vicinity of where Gifford was taken into custody after the initial incident. The Kentucky State Police Crime Lab later determined the substance to be approximately 54 grams (1.9 ounces) of cocaine.

Pending the upcoming court hearings, Gifford remains free on bond.

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