The Danville gun store owner accused of making threats against a local school and a student was ordered back to jail without bond Wednesday after his new attorney requested a psychiatric evaluation.
Bennett Williams was scheduled for a bond hearing in Boyle District Court, but his privately retained lawyer, William Huffman of Lexington, waived the hearing until after Williams had undergone a psychiatric examination. Judge Jeff Dotson agreed and sent Williams back to the Boyle County Detention Center where he has been held without bond since he was arrested on a second-degree terroristic threatening charge on Dec. 17.
Williams, 55, of 316 Twinbrook Drive, has pleaded not guilty. He owns BW Gun Shop on Fourth Street.
Danville police said another man heard Williams talk about placing dynamite at Danville Christian Academy and blowing it up — specifically targeting a red-headed student at the school he did not identify — on Dec. 14, as word of the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., was spreading.
Police said the boy apparently is the son of William’s former partner at BW Gun Shop, whose departure apparently triggered the interest of the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency. Williams also allegedly said he should have killed ATF agents who he said were at his home Dec. 13, according to police.
Huffman said after court that he interviewed Williams at the jail prior to Wednesday’s hearing. He said Williams himself asked for the psychiatric evaluation. Huffman also said Williams, a former teacher who was forced into early retirement due to a back injury, was taking multiple prescribed medicines related to back pain.
“It’s too soon to tell what happened,” Huffman said of his client’s alleged threats. He said he is hoping a psychiatric evaluation will help determine “whatever happened, whether it was the result of the medicine or some anger issues.”
Huffman also asked that Williams be allowed to attend future court appearance without the spit mask Dotson ordered him to wear after he allegedly spit on people at the jail.
Dotson agreed but said Williams’ next court appearance could come in Boyle Circuit Court — if he is indicted for terroristic threatening next month — and Judge Darren Peckler would decide if the mask is necessary.