David Chavis

David Chavis argues with his attorney Tuesday before being led out of a courtroom in the Townsend Justice Center in Casper. Chavis, 35, is accused of holding a man hostage at knifepoint for several hours earlier this month. Chavis should undergo a mental evaluation, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Dan Cepeda, Star-Tribune

A Casper man accused of holding a hostage at knifepoint for several hours earlier this month should undergo a mental evaluation, a judge ruled Tuesday.

David Chavis will undergo an assessment at the Wyoming State Hospital, Natrona County Circuit Judge Brian Christensen said. All hearings in Chavis’ case will be suspended pending the results of the evaluation.

During his initial court hearing on Aug. 8, Chavis told the judge he suffered from mental illness, but he did not elaborate. On Tuesday, Chavis could be heard threatening to fire his public defender, Jared Holbrook, who Chavis said was not respecting his rights.

Chavis walked into an office in the Aspen Creek building near downtown before 9 a.m. on Aug. 5 and held a knife to the victim’s throat, authorities allege.

Police evacuated the office building and blocked off streets in the area. Heavily armed officers were seen entering the building with rifles.

According to the court documents, Chavis made repeated demands for certain court files. Officers entered the office and removed the victim before arresting Chavis, the documents state.

SWAT team officers escorted Chavis out of the building around noon.

Police have not released the identity of the 51-year-old victim or identified the organization that uses the office where the hostage situation took place. The victim is identified only as “T.M.” in court documents. He was released safely to his family after being checked by medical personnel.

The victim had injuries to his neck consistent with being held at knifepoint, according to the court documents.

Chavis, 35, is charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent. He faces up to life in prison.

Follow crime and courts reporter Lillian Schrock on Twitter @lillieschrock

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