(Stillwater, Okla.) A 25 year-old Stillwater woman who crashed her car into a crowd of people watching the OSU Homecoming parade killing four and injuring 46 others has been evaluated in jail by a psychologist who found she is “acutely psychotic and in need of immediate psychiatric treatment,” according to a defense motion filed Wednesday for a court-ordered mental competency determination.
Adacia Avery Chambers was arrested at the scene by Stillwater police on Oct 24 and remains in the Payne County Jail on $1 million bail on four counts of second-degree murder and 46 counts of assault and battery by means or force likely to produce death, which were filed by District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas on Wednesday when she also sought a court-ordered competency examination.
In addition, the prosecution filed a motion Wednesday for a gag order to prevent the dissemination of any information not contained in court documents “regarding the mental health of the defendant or purported facts of the case that would have an imminent and materially prejudicial effect on the fact-finding process.”
Those motions could be argued in court on Nov. 9 at Chambers’ arraignment on the 50-count charge before Payne County Special District Judge Katherine Thomas.
If convicted of causing the deaths of 2-year old Nash Lucas of Stillwater, 23-year old Nikita Prabhakar Nakal of Edmond, and a 65 year-old married couple, Marvin and Bonnie Stone of Stillwater, by having a “depraved mind regardless of human life” and crashing her car into the pedestrians, Chambers could receive four sentences of 10 years to life in prison. If convicted of causing the injuries of 46 other parade watchers, Chambers could receive as much as 46 life prison terms.
According to the motion by defense attorney Tony Coleman of Oklahoma City, Chambers was evaluated in a 90-minute interview on Oct. 26 by forensic psychologist Dr. Shawn Roberson, who found her unable to consult with her lawyer or assist in her defense.
“She believed the current year to be 2016, but was aware she was currently in a detention center. Her statements suggested that she was unaware of why she was in the detention center and she was not grounded in reality, frequently making inappropriate religious references.
“Ms. Chambers suggested that she was currently ‘talking to Jesus’ and suggested that I was Jesus,” the psychologist wrote in a Nov. 1 letter to the defense attorney regarding his findings.
“She then digressed into an explanation about how she was to marry ‘Jesus’ and ‘God.’ Shortly thereafter she began crying hysterically stating, ‘I miss Jesus,’” the psychologist’s report said.
Although she said that she had mental health treatment in Claremore and Wagoner, “Ms. Chambers denied having a mental illness and claimed she had no need for psychiatric treatment,” the report said.
Describing her prolonged sleeplessness for several days in a row, Chambers “also described feeling very emotionally elated during this time, communicating with ‘God,’” the report said.
Chambers said that she did not regularly drink alcohol, but “had smoked marijuana in the past, with the last time being on July 4, 2015,” the report said. Chambers “denied ever using other illicit drugs, abusing inhalants, or abusing prescription medications,” the report said.
During the interview, Chambers went “from uncontrollable sobbing to inappropriate, hysterical laughter,” the psychologist said in his report.
Asked if she was insane, she said no, the report said. She said her attorney was “the Lord,” the report said.
The psychologist reported that his diagnostic impression was that Chambers was currently suffering from Bipolar Disorder.
“Ms. Chambers was asked about any history of suicidal behavior and she replied ‘not truly,’” the report said.
“She vacillated between extreme depression, raising concerns about suicide, to extreme elation with psychotic features. I informed Payne County Detention Sgt. Brandon Ingham and he indicated that Ms. Chambers was already on suicide prevention,” the psychologist wrote in his report to the defense attorney that was filed in court records.
According to a search warrant affidavit by Stillwater Police Officer Jeff Dillon, just before the OSU Homecoming Parade crash, “Ms. Chambers was heard stating she was ‘Going home forever.
“Ms. Chambers’ boyfriend, Jesse Gaylord, stated she had been treated in the past by a mental health professional after making a suicide threat,” the search warrant affidavit alleged.
When Chambers was arrested at the crash scene for driving under the influence by Stillwater Police Officer Shawn Millermon, who is a drug recognition expert, he said “she appeared to be under the influence of a prescription medication,” the search warrant affidavit alleged.
“Co-workers of Ms. Chambers stated before the incident, she appeared to be in a ‘daze,’” the affidavit alleged.
From Chambers’ home, Stillwater police seized a New International Version “FireBible,” with an inscription in the front to “Adacia” dated 18th of May 2008, the affidavit said. Stillwater police also seized a handwritten letter and three handwritten notes found inside the Bible, along with a laptop computer, a hard drive, a tablet and an Xbox one, the search warrant return said.
On another search warrant, Stillwater Police Officer Ricardo Inciarte, who had investigated about 60 vehicle collisions, seized the air bag control unit module for a 2014 Hyundai Elantra that Chambers drove into the crowd, court records show.
In her application for a mental competency determination by the state Department of Mental Health and Abuse Services, the DA noted that when Chambers was booked into the Stillwater City Jail, “She specifically stated that she was suicidal at the time she drove her car into the parade crowd, but no longer suicidal at book-in.
“During this routine booking procedure, the defendant was lucid and answering various questions appropriately including her telephone number, her boyfriend’s telephone number, and her insurance carrier,” the DA said in her motion.
Just hours after the crash, defense attorney Coleman held a press conference in which he said, “When I, in fact, informed her that four people had indeed perished, the reaction that I got was one that confirmed what I believed from the very beginning, that she was lacking in capacity or was under some other influences other than drugs or alcohol,” the DA noted in her motion.
“Following her initial court appearance, Mr. Coleman again spoke to the media asserting his client’s incompetence to understand the nature and course of the proceedings. Ms. Chambers’ father also informed the media that his daughter has a history of mental issues, including inpatient treatment a number of years ago,” the DA noted in her motion.
“While the state believes the defendant is competent, the various statements made by Mr. Coleman, both in various media interviews and in court, implicate serious factual questions about his client’s competency,” the DA said in asking that the court order a mental competency examination of Chambers.
In the DA’s motion for a court order prohibiting extrajudicial statements and pre-trial public communication and dissemination of information, Thomas said such a gag order “is necessary to protect the integrity and decorum of the proceedings in this matter.”
“The circumstances surrounding the arrest have garnered significant publicity. As of Oct. 30, 2015, a Google search for ‘Adacia Chambers’ yielded approximately 1,880,000 results,” the DA said in her motion for a gag order.
“Public interest is so high that KWTV reporter Amanda Taylor has written defendant a letter asking for an interview in which she tells the defendant, ‘I can act as your voice to the public,’” the DA noted in her motion.
“Additionally, nationally recognized Dr. Phil McGraw has been calling and requesting an interview with the defendant,” the DA said.
“The District Attorney has granted interviews requested by the press following the court appearance to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s actions with an attempt to limit comment to the information in the probable cause affidavit,” Thomas said.
In her motion, the DA said that speculation regarding the defendant’s mental state up and including at the time of her arrest, as well as releasing other facts resulting from the investigation, “could result in a defense request for change of venue.”