Mental evaluation ordered for man accused of shooting his grandparents

bpurser@macon.comOctober 31, 2013 

PERRY -- A mental evaluation has been ordered for a 25-year-old man accused of shooting his grandparents in their Kathleen home.

Joshua Allen Cook was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in connection with the Oct. 20 incident.

Judge Edward D. Lukemire ordered the evaluation for Cook at his bond hearing Thursday in Houston County Superior Court. Lukemire denied bond.

The prosecution indicated at the hearing that it would seek an indictment on upgraded charges of attempted murder, while the defense asked for a bond with electronic monitoring, so Cook could have an alcoholism assessment at Phoenix Center Behavioral Health Services.

“We believe he’s a danger to the community if he’s out of jail,” District Attorney George Hartwig said.

Robert Surrency, an assistant public defender representing Cook, said neither the defense nor prosecution sought the mental evaluation, but the judge ordered it on his own.

“I told the court I don’t have any evidence of his mental status and every reason to believe that this incident had to do with alcohol,” Surrency said.

Cook is accused of shooting his grandmother, Rosylin Livingston, 67, twice in the head before next shooting his grandfather, Tom Livingston, 70, once in the head.

Tom Livingston said he was able to wrestle the gun away from his grandson and subdue him until Houston County sheriff’s deputies arrived. Rosylin Livingston crawled on her knees to her bedroom to call 911.

Authorities said Cook was intoxicated when his grandmother confronted him about his drinking and about drinking at their home.

But Tom Livingston previously told The Telegraph he had no idea what came over his grandson. He said the attack was unprovoked, and his wife had not been on his grandson about drinking. He also said his grandson had only a few beers that night. Livingston said he thinks Cook has some sort of mental disorder.

Livingston said he still loves his grandson and hopes authorities will be able to get him some help.

Cook has no prior felonies. He has two misdemeanor convictions in Sumter County for simply battery and criminal trespass that stemmed from a fight in 2012, Surrency said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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