Man accused of shooting Washington Co. deputy deemed incompetent for trial

2013-09-25T14:45:00Z 2013-10-14T09:38:12Z Man accused of shooting Washington Co. deputy deemed incompetent for trialBy Leah Thorsen lthorsen@post-dispatch.com 636-937-6249 stltoday.com

POTOSI, MO. • The man accused of killing a Washington County deputy last year was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial, at a court hearing Wednesday morning.

Gary Sancegrow, 31, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Deputy Christopher Parsons. It’s possible that Sancegrow could be tried on those charges later if he is deemed competent after treatment.

Parsons, 31, was helping load Sancegrow’s mother into an ambulance when he was shot and killed at 2:10 a.m. on Dec. 15. He had gone to the home on Nugget Road in the Mineral Point area to accompany an ambulance in response to a 911 call from a belligerent caller.

Sancegrow shot Parsons, then fled, according to authorities.

Sancegrow turned himself in after a 16-hour manhunt following the shooting of Parsons, who had been on the job for two months.

Sancegrow will be under the care of the Department of Mental Health, the Missouri attorney general’s office said. He is expected to be taken to Fulton State Hospital, where he will be evaluated after six months.

Sancegrow has a history of mental illness. He was charged in Washington County with unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, in 2006, and given five years’ probation. But he violated probation and was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation by the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The Washington County Circuit Court in 2007 deemed Sancegrow “incompetent to proceed” and committed him to the department’s care.

The court in 2008 continued his probation under conditions that he submit to more evaluation and take all prescribed medication. He violated probation again in 2010, prompting the court to issue a warrant for his arrest.

The attorney general’s office is prosecuting Sancegow because the county’s prosecuting attorney, formerly a public defender, once represented Sancegrow. He has “privileged and confidential information” about Sancegrow’s mental-health history, court documents say.

Sancegrow is being represented by Wayne Williams Jr., a public defender.

After the shooting, Sancegrow’s grandmother told the Post-Dispatch that her grandson did not graduate high school and did not have a job.

“He lost his father when he was 13 and hasn’t been right since,” Mary Sancegrow said at the time. “He’s kind of paranoid and just hasn’t gotten along too well.”

Leah Thorsen covers Jefferson and south St. Louis counties. Follow her on Twitter.

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