Boards competent to stand trial in death of Elwood police officer

Apr. 26—ANDERSON — Three doctors testified that Carl Roy Webb Boards II is competent to stand trial in the 2022 shooting death of Elwood police officer Noah Shahnavaz.

Defense attorney Lemuel Stigler said Friday he will file a motion for an additional evaluation.

Madison Circuit Court Division 3 Judge Andrew Hopper didn't make a ruling.

Boards is scheduled to go to trial on charges of murder, two counts of resisting law enforcement, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, firearm enhancement, habitual offender, life without parole and the death penalty.

The trial is scheduled for January 2025.

The three doctors all testified that Boards was competent to understand the court proceedings and capable of assisting in his defense.

Dr. Jeff Huttinger said he believed Boards was competent based on his two-hour interview in March.

Stigler asked all three doctors about an incident in which Boards was tasered in December at the Miami Correctional Facility and was placed in a holding cell for 30 days.

Stigler said Boards believes his attorneys conspired with prison officials to have him tased.

Huttinger said Boards has been fine since then and prison staff indicated he didn't talk a lot.

"He talked with me openly and we had a discussion together," Huttinger said of Boards. "There was no relation between his relationship with his attorneys and the incident."

Huttinger and the other two doctors all indicated that Boards didn't believe his public defenders were working to represent his interests.

Asked by Chief Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Hanna if they discussed drug use, Huttinger said Boards admitted to smoking marijuana and denied using other drugs.

He said it's common for defendants to express frustration with their attorneys and the criminal justice system, complaining about a lack of time.

Huttinger said Boards reacted appropriately during the evaluation.

"Mr. Boards has the ability to participate in his defense," he said.

Dr. Andrew Skinner said he did a full evaluation of Boards' mental state and his ability to recognize reality.

"He did express concerns about the roles of public defenders," Skinner said. "He believes they're helping to find him guilty at all costs."

Dr. Rebecca Mueller said that Boards demonstrated an understanding of reality.

Boards is accused of fatally shooting Shahnavaz, 24, through the windshield of his police cruiser early on July 31, 2022, in Elwood during a traffic stop.

Just after 2 a.m., Shahnavaz stopped a 2012 Buick LaCrosse near the intersection of Indiana 37 and County Road 1100 North. Police have not provided a reason for the traffic stop.

Hamilton County officers located the Buick and attempted a traffic stop. The Buick continued southbound on Indiana 37. Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies pursued the Buick and deployed a tire-deflation device near the area of Indiana 37 and 146th Street.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.