The trial for the Ames teenager accused of trying to kidnap a 4-year-old child in May 2015, is delayed indefinitely, until he is deemed mentally competent to stand trial.
Akuk Akok, 17, was initially charged as an adult with first-degree burglary and assault while participating in a felony, and charged as a juvenile with child stealing. But in June 2015, a judge consolidated all of the charges in adult court.
Akok is accused of trying to abduct a child from a home in the 100 block of McDonald Drive on May 22, 2015, when he allegedly entered the home while the occupants were sleeping and forcefully tried to remove the young child from the basement window, assaulting the child in the process.
The report said Akok stopped once the victim’s sister chased him out of the yard.
Akok was arrested by police at his family’s apartment in the 4300 block of Lincoln Swing a short time later.
According to online court records, Akok was being held on $40,000 cash-only bond at the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Eldora before posting bail and being released in April.
According to court documents filed last week, District Court Judge James A. McGlynn ordered the delay following Akok’s request to withdraw counsel for being “ineffective.”
In response to Akok’s request, documents show that all three of his attorneys requested that they be allowed to withdraw from representing Akok in the matter. According to the attorneys, the communication between them and the defendant has broken down to the point where they cannot effectively represent him, and they fear that Akok is “simply laying the groundwork for a possible post-conviction relief action, and do not wish to be trapped in that situation.” Documents show that his attorneys also “questioned whether they could zealously and effectively represent a client who has called them ineffective.”
According to court documents, both the state and defense agreed that Akok has mental health issues for which he has been prescribed medications to control psychosis and anxiety.
Judge McGlynn ruled that the court would take no action on either the defendant’s request for new counsel or the request of his attorneys to withdraw from the case until such time as competency has been restored or it is determined that he is competent to stand trial. McGlynn also ordered Akok to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he is suffering a mental disorder which prevents him from appreciating the charge, understanding the proceedings, or assisting effectively in his defense.