Man found competent for trial in drive-by shooting case

May 4—By Brian Arola barola@mankatofreepress.com

MANKATO — A court-ordered examination determined a St. Peter man is competent to proceed in a reported drive-by shooting case in Mankato from 2022.

Javarius Meshach McRae-Hayes, 29, faces felony second-degree attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, assault with a dangerous weapon and illegal possession of a firearm charges in Blue Earth County District Court.

The charges came after he was accused of shooting at a vehicle in Mankato on July 16, resulting in a woman's hospitalization. The woman was a passenger in the vehicle at the time, while McRae-Hayes was a passenger in another vehicle driven by Daniesha Nicole Garrett, 27, of St. Peter.

The competency evaluation, submitted to the court on April 17 and made public Monday, includes an examiner's opinion that McRae-Hayes "was not suffering from a mental illness or cognitive impairment" during the alleged incident. He reportedly was under the influence of various substances, but "voluntary inebriation is not a viable basis for a claim under an insanity defense."

The examiner noted McRae-Hayes experienced at least two mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries in the past, showing a good rate of recovery afterward. He also had a history of mental health and substance use disorders.

At the time of the incident, however, the examiner opined that McRae-Hayes "was not under the influence of mental illness such that he did not understand his actions or that they were wrong."

McRae-Hayes did not file a written objection to the competency report.

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