Trial delayed to allow for rape suspect’s mental evaluation
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – A 21-year-old Hoover man who was originally set to stand trial on six rape charges in February has had his trial date continued to allow for his recently appointed counsel to subpoena records and request a psychiatric evaluation.
Samuel Woods III, who lists an address on Snapwood Road in Hoover, was set to stand trial beginning on Feb. 11 in front of Shelby County Circuit Court Jude William Bostick, but his trial date has been delayed at the request of his court-appointed defense attorney.
The defense attorney, who was appointed on Dec. 4, 2018, said “two months is not sufficient time to prepare for the trial of six cases, especially with having discovery less than one month prior.”
On March 11, the attorney requested a March trial date, which had been continued from February, be continued because the attorney “has learned that the defendant suffers from a mental disease/defect.”
Counsel only learned of this impairment while interviewing witnesses for trial,” the attorney wrote in the request to continue the March trial date. “Counsel has attempted to get the defendant’s psychiatric records from Grayson and Associates, but was told that a subpoena would be necessary before they released the records. Counsel also attempted to obtain the defendant’s school records showing special needs, but was likewise refused. Therefore, the defendant needs additional time to subpoena these records and to request a psychiatric evaluation.”
Bostick agreed to continue the March trial date, but had not yet set a new trial date as of March 18.
A Shelby County grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Woods in October 2017, upholding the two most recent rape charges brought against him by the Helena Police Department in April 2017.
The indictments list offense dates of March 23 and April 6, during which Woods was out of jail on bond for four felony second-degree rape charges brought against him in 2016. He was indicted on the four original rape charges – Three of which were brought against him by the Alabaster Police Department and one of which was brought by the Helena Police Department – in December 2016.
In all six cases, Woods allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a female victim who was between the age of 12 and 16 while Woods was “16 years or older and at least two years older” than the victim, according to his indictments.
Woods has been in and out of the Shelby County jail several times over the past few years.
He was originally arrested on June 17, 2016, on a second-degree rape charge, and was released the following day after posting a $30,000 bond.
Woods was rearrested on another second-degree rape charge on June 25, 2016, and was released from jail on June 28, 2016, after posting a $30,000 bond. He was then arrested for a third time on June 28, 2016, and charged with two more second-degree rape charges.
He remained in jail from June 28, 2016, until his bonds were lowered through an agreement between his defense attorney and prosecutors, and he posted bond on Sept. 21, 2016.
Because Woods’ two most recent rape charges came while he was out of jail on bond, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Lara Alvis revoked his bond and ordered he be held in the Shelby County Jail without bond, where he has remained since April 2017.