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Judge jails man who faked Alzheimer’s to avoid court

One defendant was ordered by a judge to undergo a mental competency evaluation last week after his wife told the court that her husband was exaggerating his health issues to avoid answering to criminal charges.

Larry Dial Sr. appeared in District Court Friday morning to be arraigned on a single charge of assault with a deadly weapon more than seven months after the hearing was originally scheduled to take place.

Dial was supposed to appear on Oct. 8 of 2012, but failed to do so as he had been medically released on his own recognizance to deal with what he told the court were severe health problems. He planned to seek help at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in San Diego.

His attorney, David Neely, who appeared on behalf of Dial on four different occasions each time the arraignment was rescheduled, told the court Dial and his wife told him the man was basically on death’s door with Alzheimer’s disease.

With each passing court appointment, Neely would tell Judge Kimberly Wanker the same thing — that he was having a hard time reaching Dial but what little he had heard from him was that he was still gravely ill.

After several attempts were made to pinpoint exactly where Dial was being treated and how much longer he would need before coming back to court, his wife, who recently started as a Drug Court participant, told Wanker her husband had been lying about his health.

“You’ve really done quite a number on the court here. I’ve had court on Oct. 8, 2012, Dec. 10, 2012, March 1, 2013, March 29, 2013 and May 31, 2013, and your counsel kept requesting what your status was and you kept reporting you were on death’s door,” Wanker told Dial. “You’ve run around since Oct. 8, 2012 under false pretenses to your attorney. Now I don’t tolerate that well. I don’t know what charade you think you’re pulling on people.”

When Dial attempted to protest the judge’s accusations, Wanker pointed out she heard the story from his own wife.

“I don’t really believe you because your wife is in Drug Court and she’s the one who ratted you out,” she said.

Wanker said she believed sending Dial for a mental evaluation would likely be in everybody’s best interest.

“I was going to send him to Lakes Crossing for a competency exam and I think they should be aware of the charade, so I think Lakes Crossing is probably appropriate for this gentlemen,” she told the court. “He’s not getting out anytime soon. I’m not going to release him after today, after his charade that wasted the court’s time over the last seven months with a bunch of crap.”

In addition to the order sending Dial to Lakes Crossing to be examined, a motion for Neely to withdraw as Dial’s attorney was also granted during the hearing.

Public Defender Tom Gibson was subsequently appointed and a new court date will be set once Dial is returned from his competency evaluation.

In the meantime, Dial remains in custody of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office as he awaits to be transported north.

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