Suspect ruled competent in kidnapping case |

Suspect ruled competent in kidnapping case

by Sheila Gardner

A 21-year-old Minden man, accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old boy from an outdoor church group, is competent to stand trial.

District Judge Dave Gamble ordered Jacob Wilcher to appear Nov. 16 in East Fork Justice Court on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, open or gross lewdness, indecent exposure and attempting to elude a police officer. The kidnapping charge carries the potential for a life sentence.

On Sept. 11, a teacher at the Lifepoint church said she had been holding an outdoor class for youth members when a man, identified as Wilcher, approached the class, grabbed an 11-year-old boy, and ran around the side of the building.

When church officials caught up to Wilcher he had removed all his clothes and had the boy pinned to the ground with his foot. Church officials grabbed the boy, and attempted to detain Wilcher. He broke free, ran to his vehicle, and drove away.

A member of the congregation followed Wilcher in his vehicle until deputies were able to catch up and forced Wilcher’s vehicle from the road.

Wilcher was returned to jail after his evaluation by psychiatrists at Lake’s Crossing Center for the Mentally Disordered Offender in Sparks.

Lawyer Tod Young he still had concerns about his client, including Wilcher’s assertion he never met Young who has represented him on numerous occasions since he was arrested.

“It’s very, very difficult to converse with him concerning substantial issues,” Young said. “When you try to talk about his history, psychological history, it’s not productive at all.”

Young said the psychiatrists said Wilcher might be “toying” with him. They also indicated that Wilcher’s competency may come up again.

Gamble said he recognized the limitations, but wanted to move the case forward.

“Mr. Wilcher, the best thing you can do for yourself is work with Mr. Young,” Gamble said. “These are serious issues.”