Stephen Powers, the Gloucester man accused of planting a bomb in a parking lot outside a downtown Williamsburg restaurant, will continue to be evaluated by a court-appointed psychologist after a Williamsburg-James City County General District Court judge denied a request by his defense attorney to have Powers hospitalized.
Powers, who was found competent to stand trial at a Feb. 8 hearing, was ordered to undergo further evaluation after Dr. Kevin McWilliams, who evaluated Powers twice in November, and once more in December and January, said he observed significant “flat-out malingering” — or feigning of mental illness from Powers.
Powers’ attorney, John Konstantinou, had also requested during the January hearing that Powers be hospitalized. However, Williamsburg-James City County General District Court Judge Colleen Killilea denied the request.
“I think because the doctor said (Powers) was competent and malingering, I don’t think I have a basis for hospitalizing him,” Killilea said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 17 in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.
Powers was arrested Oct. 24, a day after an improvised explosive device detonated in the parking lot behind Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill, near Merchants Square. No one was injured in the blast.
Powers had worked in the maintenance department at Colonial Williamsburg for more than two years, according to documents filed in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.
McWilliams said at the January hearing that Powers exhibited some signs of psychosis and schizophrenia, but noted that “schizophrenia doesn’t just happen at age 30.”
Konstantinou asked McWilliams if Powers would be able to fake mental illness 24 hours a day.
“I think it’d be difficult for him to keep that up for 24 hours a day,” McWilliams said.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cathy Black said the commonwealth’s attorney’s office obtained written documents from Powers that provided details about the bomb scene and the location of the bomb-making materials at his Gloucester home. Those documents also described a possible “hit” on his wife, Tiffany Lynn Powers, since he was sent to Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, Black said.
The information in the documents, Black said, stands in contrast to Stephen Powers’ assertion to McWilliams that he wasn’t able to remember anything about the incident.