Judge to accused wife killer: Take your meds — (Press-Register)

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 By AL.com and Press-Register staff

on September 24, 2009 at 2:52 PM 


DOTHAN, Ala. — A Houston County judge has ordered a Dothan man charged with the murder of his wife to take his medication.  Circuit Court Judge Ed Jackson ordered officials with the state Department of Mental Health to give James Allen Chumney, 44, the proper medication after he’d apparently refused to take it during his stay at Taylor Hardin, a state mental health facility, the Dothan Eagle reports.

Houston County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Chumney on Aug. 13, 2007, and charged him with murder in the slaying of his 36-year-old wife, Christine Chumney. Thomas Klinner, a representative from the state Department of Mental Health, said mental health officials would like to prescribe and give Chumney Clonazepam, which he said will stop the delusions Chumney apparently suffers.

Attorney Trent Bullard said his client, who did not attend the hearing, has a much different view of his mental state than does his family. “My client’s position is he doesn’t need the medication,” Bullard said. “He’s not mentally ill, and he’s ready to go to trial.”

Christine Chumney was shot three times with a 9 mm handgun, in the head, chest and abdomen area, the Dothan Eagle reports. According to a previous Eagle report, Chumney told investigators “the gun accidentally went off three times, killing his wife.” Doug McKeown, a clinical and forensic psychologist, has diagnosed Chumney with having a paranoid delusional disorder.