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Joplin man accused of shooting 5 people in 2016 to get trial

April 21, 2021 GMT

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A Joplin man charged with injuring five people in a shooting in 2016 is competent to stand trial, a judge has ruled.

Jasper County Circuit Court Judge Gayle Crane issued an order Tuesday to proceed with the trial for 31-year-old Tom Mourning Jr, who authorities said has been treated for schizophrenia, The Joplin Globe reported.

He was charged with five counts of first-degree assault, five counts of armed criminal action and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon in the Aug. 13, 2016, shooting.

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Mourning is accused of shooting at a couple in a car and then firing at a church van, injuring three people and two comfort dogs.

An attorney for the Missouri Department of Mental Health filed a motion April 1 that said Mourning is able to understand court proceedings and assist in his defense.

After three previous findings that Mourning was incompetent for trial, the Jasper County prosecutor’s office asked the court in October 2020 to have him medicated involuntarily because he was refusing to take his prescribed drugs.

The judge directed the mental health department to follow the proposed treatment, which led to the new ruling that Mourning is competent for trial.