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BullardStevie Earl Bullard Jr. on Tuesday was ruled to be “capable and competent” to stand trial in July on 17 charges, including nine sex-related charges involving children.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons in Bladen County Superior Court came after a brief hearing where Bullard requested a new lawyer, a different prosecutor and a change of venue. Danny Britt is the third lawyer assigned to Bullard’s case since charges were filed in January 2014. Bullard requested Robeson County lawyer Troy A. Peters. Parsons denied the requests.

Bullard is charged with two counts of first degree rape of a child, six counts of first degree sex offense with a child, one count of attempted first degree rape, six counts of possession of a weapon by a prisoner, one count of threatening a court officer and one count of injury to personal property. His trial is scheduled to begin July 18 in Bladen County Superior Court.

Bullard was arrested Jan. 16, 2014, after the mother of the two alleged victims, who are sisters, reported the abuse to law enforcement.

As he was leaving the courtroom Tuesday, Bullard claimed “sovereign citizens rights” and called one of his former lawyers, Rob Davis, a liar, and complained to his other former lawyer, Goldston Womble, that he had spent only five minutes with him.

According to Wikipedia, sovereign citizens believe they are answerable only to their particular interpretation of common law and not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, state or municipal levels.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Womble, who has practiced in Bladen County for about 40 years, and Davis, who has practiced in Bladen County for about 20 years, testified that during their time with Bullard that they had no concerns about him understanding the charges against him.

Assistant District Attorney Glenn Emery submitted a a recent evaluation performed by Dr. LaVonne Fox, who is the senior psychologist at Central Regional Hospital in Butner. In her report, Fox said that Bullard refused to cooperate and suggested he was malingering, which is a term used when a patient is intentionally falsely or exaggerating physical or psychological symptoms for personal gain. Fox said she was unable to give an opinion on Bullard’s evaluation based on the examination, but she said she reviewed a prior evaluation and found that Bullard’s IQ was in the average range.

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