Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Accused robber faces mental evaluation

Express Staff Writer

A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for Samuel Samudio, a 17-year-old Hailey youth accused of using a shotgun on Aug. 19 to steal a 12-pack of beer from Veltex Market in Ketchum.

Fifth District Court Judge Robert Elgee ordered the evaluation last month at the request of Samudio's defense counsel. According to court records, the evaluation, which will be paid for by Blaine County, is being done by Twin Falls psychiatrist Dr. Richard Worst.

A jury trial for Samudio is scheduled to start on Jan. 30, 2007, and is expected to last three days.

Samudio faces felony charges of robbery, second-degree kidnapping and assault with intent to commit a serious felony. He is accused of pointing a 12-guage shotgun at two Veltex employees and ordering one of them into the store, where he allegedly stole a 12-pack of Keystone Light and fled. He was arrested by Ketchum police shortly after.

Samudio is free on $150,000 bail, but under house arrest restrictions that require him to stay at his mother's home in Hailey.

In other developments, 5th District Court Administrative Judge Barry Wood has been assigned the case after Elgee disqualified himself at the request of Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas.

In filing a "motion to disqualify without cause," Thomas was not required to state a reason for asking Elgee to remove himself from the case. The motion was filed in early September.

In one other development, court records show that Samudio is now represented by Hailey attorney Keith Roark instead of Ketchum attorney Robert Fallowfield.

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