A judge on Monday ordered Kevin Mayhew, who is charged with attempted murder against law enforcement officers, to be evaluated for mental competency before he can enter a plea in Merced County Superior Court.
During a brief court session Monday morning, Mayhew, 40, appeared in a wheelchair and made sounds that Deputy District Attorney Walter Wall described as grunting noises. Judge Ronald Hansen said at the arraignment that Mayhew must be cleared by a doctor for mental competency before entering a plea.
Mayhew remained in Merced County Jail on Monday with bond set at $1.4 million bail. He is charged with two counts of attempted murder of peace officers, plus potential sentencing enhancements to those charges for using a firearm. The enhancements could add up to a sentence of of 40 years, if found true in court. Mayhew also was charged with evading peace officers and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, both felonies.
Mayhew’s court-appointed public defender, Derek Scott Meyer, who works for the Merced County Public Defender’s Office, did not return messages from the Sun-Star on Monday.
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The charges stem from a March 9 shoot out between Mayhew and law enforcement officers from three agencies.
The confrontation began when Turlock police served search warrants connected to a homicide investigation from 2016. Mayhew led the officers on a lengthy pursuit into Merced County, where sheriff’s deputies and Merced police presumed the chase. It ended in Snelling when Mayhew got out of his car and fired a gun at a patrol vehicle with two deputies inside.
Investigation reports from Merced County Sheriff’s deputies filed in court say Mayhew communicated with Turlock officers during the pursuit and told them “there will not be a peaceful resolution,” and he drove with a loaded gun on his lap.
The pursuit ended on Snelling Road when Mayhew got out of the brown 2002 Lincoln he was driving and shot a deputy patrol car with an “assault-style rifle.”
The investigation report says the patrol car was struck once in the hood and once in the lower front bumper. A third bullet went through the windshield and into the driver’s seat headrest. Two deputies were in the vehicle when Mayhew fired the shots.
Six officers returned fire. Mayhew was stuck once and treated at a Modesto hospital for the injury.
Mayhew had multiple weapons in his vehicle, though the exact number is unclear. The report describes six to eight guns ranging from an AR-15, other rifles and various shotguns. Some were modified, though it’s unclear if the modifications were legal.
The investigation is ongoing, and officials with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office have said additional charges may be filed as more details come to light. The Department of Justice is investigating whether the officers-involved shooting is justified.
Mayhew is the son of a Stanislaus County Superior Court civil case judge, William Mayhew.
Brianna Calix: 209-385-2477