MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A court hearing for one of the men charged in the unfathomable killing of seven people in Valhermosa Springs has been pushed back until mid-March 2023, according to court records.
John Michael Legg was arrested on June 28, 2021, alongside Frederic Rogers in the deaths of Tammy Muzzey, 45, Emily Payne, 21, Roger Jones Jr., 19, Jeramy Roberts, 31, William Hodgin, 18, of Somerville, James Benford, 22, and Dakota Green, 17.
One aspect of Monday’s hearing should have covered the results from Legg’s mental health examination to determine whether or not he is fit to stand trial.
Prosecutors say Legg and Rogers were in a club called the Seven Deadly Sins and some of the victims were apparently members as well.
In a fall 2021 hearing, Legg’s attorneys told the court that he needs a mental health evaluation and they don’t believe he is competent to stand trial. In their court filing raising the issue Legg’s lawyers said he was 18 at the time of the killings and has an eighth-grade education, that he’d been hospitalized multiple times for mental health treatment including for depression and PTSD, that his family believes he has undiagnosed mental health problems and his lawyers argued that based on their dealings with him, they don’t believe he can assist with his defense.
Morgan County Circuit Judge Stephen Brown issued an order on April 14, 2022, setting Legg’s competency hearing for May 18.
The judge’s order said the parties should be prepared to address the issue of competency. The order says the defense must request a jury at least seven days before the hearing. The judge said if a jury is not requested the court will make the ruling on Legg’s competency. Legg will be allowed to testify if he chooses, the court said, or if they choose not to call witnesses the two sides can submit reports from the doctors who examined Legg.
The judge also noted that Legg had declined to participate in the evaluation, “as it concerns mental state at the time of the offense.” By May 16, 2022, the results of Legg’s examination were filed with the court.
Investigators say all the victims were shot multiple times. Legg’s co-defendant Rogers has filed a mental health defense with the court. The judge has also ordered that he undergo mental health testing as well.
Legg was also charged with second-degree escape after authorities said he “basically stole the trustee uniform without someone knowing and then put in on under his clothes, his uniform,”
Court records show the hearing has been set for March 21, 2023, at 9 a.m. at the Morgan County Courthouse. A status docket hearing has been set for Rogers at the same time and date.