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Cory Bigsby ordered to be sent to Eastern State Hospital for mental health treatment

The order came during a Friday morning hearing to discuss a mental examination of Bigsby ahead of trial.

HAMPTON, Va. — A judge has ordered Cory Bigsby, the father of missing Hampton 4-year-old Codi Bigsby, be sent to a psychiatric hospital in Williamsburg for mental health services.

In a Friday morning hearing, Judge James Hawks read the results of a court-ordered evaluation of Bisby's mental health status. The evaluation was completed by Dr. Weare Zwemer, who had concerns about Bigsby standing trial. He said Bigsby is incapable of assisting in his own defense.

In the report, obtained from Hampton Circuit Court, Dr. Zwemer writes, “Bigsby possesses factual understanding of the judicial proceedings but lacks a rational appreciation of his legal circumstance or the ability to cooperate with counsel in his defense.”

However, Zwemer also said Bigsby, adamantly told him, he is competent and doesn’t have a mental illness that would stop him from participating in a trial.

Hawks ruled Bigsby will be sent to Eastern State Hospital for restoration services and will appear back in court on June 14 for a status check on his mental health. 

One of Bigsby’s attorneys, Amina Matheny-Willard, says he will likely be transferred from the Hampton Roads Regional Jail to the hospital in about 10 days.

At the June 14 hearing, Judge Hawks will also hear arguments by the defense for a motion to dismiss Bigsby’s charges. Matheny-Willard asked the judge for two hours for that hearing, saying she will have witnesses.

“The motion to dismiss is based on the fact that if we had gotten that letter August 3, we would not be here in March doing what we are doing," Matheny-Willard said.

Matheny-Willard is referring to a statement Bigsby wrote in August. She said the prosecution got ahold of that letter, but the defense did not. She said they finally saw it in October and it caused them to push back the trial. She would not share what the statement said.

“It was enough for us to immediately change our course of action and ask for a competency evaluation," Matheny-Willard said.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell tells 13News Now the statement is related to the investigation into Codi's disappearance, and not the child neglect charges Bigsby faces.

READ MORE | Motion to dismiss filed in Cory Bigsby case

Bigsby's defense attorneys and family members said they are thankful he's leaving Hampton Roads Regional Jail.

“We've had very serious concerns about the jail," Matheny-Willard said.

Glenn Hinnant said he’s Bigsby’s uncle, and that money goes missing from Bigsby's jail canteen frequently.

“When he goes to get the money they say he don’t have none," Hinnant said. "What happened to it?"

Bigsby’s aunt said many of the letters they send him bounce back.

“They say 'contents inappropriate,'" said Jeannette Hinnant.

13News Now is awaiting a response from a jail spokeswoman about the family's concerns.

Matheny-Willard said she’s noticed a decline in her client's mental health since she began representing him. She said he should transfer to the hospital within the next 10 days.

“That decline, in my opinion, is due to his incarceration, the conditions at the jail, the fact that his son is missing and the Hampton Police hasn’t found him," Matheny-Willard said.

Bigsby faces 30 charges, including 28 felonies and two misdemeanors. He's been behind bars since Feb. 3, 2022, and his bond has been denied six times as he awaits a trial. 

None of the charges are directly connected to the disappearance of Codi, who was reported missing to the Hampton Police Division on Jan. 31, 2022. But when police brought Bigsby in for questioning about his son, he allegedly told investigators he sometimes left his young children home alone. That led to child neglect charges.

Since Codi's disappearance, search teams and the public have banded together at different times to search for the child, but he hasn't been found yet.

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