STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — A judge ordered a competency examination Monday for a woman charged with murder in the car crash at Oklahoma State University's homecoming parade that killed four people and injured dozens more.
Judge Louis A. Duel stayed the proceedings at least until Dec. 10 against 25-year-old Adacia Chambers and ordered her committed for the evaluation at a state facility.
Duel also issued a gag order in the case barring lawyers, witnesses, victims and family members from making any statements about the case outside of court for at least the next 15 days — allowing Chambers' defense attorney time to respond to the gag requested by prosecutors. Duel indicated he may decide to lift the order based on the reply.
"I'm a huge believer in freedom of the press, but I have to maintain the integrity of this case," said Duel, who also ordered Chambers' medical records sealed for the same reasons during Monday's hearing.
Chambers was led into court by sheriff's deputies, dressed in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit, with hands shackled. She spoke only once, in a muted tone, acknowledging to the judge that she understood her rights to a preliminary hearing and attorney representation.
Chambers' boyfriend, Jesse Gaylord, and family members were seated in the front row. Before the hearing, Gaylord declined to comment on the case.
Chambers has been jailed on $1 million bond since the Oct. 24 crash and was formally charged last week with four counts of second-degree murder and 46 counts of assault.
A court filing Monday shows the judge initially assigned to the case, Katherine Thomas, recused herself because she knows one of the victims. Duel, a judge in a neighboring county, was appointed in her place.
Chambers is accused of running a red light and purposely driving around a barricade and over a police motorcycle before crashing into spectators near the end of Oklahoma State's homecoming parade. Payne County District Attorney Laura Thomas has said evidence suggests the incident "was an intentional act, not an accident."
In a 35-minute video of Chambers' jail booking released by Stillwater police, she quietly answers a jailer's questions but appears to show little emotion. While she was being booked, Chambers told jail staff that she had a history of suicidal attempts and treatment for mental health issues and admitted feeling suicidal at the time of the crash, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in district court.
Tony Coleman, Chambers' defense attorney, has said that when he told Chambers about the deaths "her face was blank" and that he was not sure Chambers was aware that she was in jail.
Chambers' father, Floyd Chambers, has said previously that his daughter had received inpatient mental health treatment several years ago but that nothing seemed amiss recently, except that his daughter had recently called and said she wanted to move back home.