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Man charged with shooting deputy on light rail platform sent to state mental hospital

Watch Nicory Spann’s reaction as charges are read in court

Nicory Spann was arraigned Friday on suspicion of attempted murder in the shooting of a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy at a Watt Avenue light rail stop.
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Nicory Spann was arraigned Friday on suspicion of attempted murder in the shooting of a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy at a Watt Avenue light rail stop.

The man who shot a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy in the face at a light rail station last year was ordered to a state mental hospital Thursday until he’s deemed competent to stand trial.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette ordered Nicory Marquis Spann, 27, to be hospitalized and gave doctors permission to administer psychotropic drugs.

Spann’s mental health has been an issue from the time of his arrest in June 2017.

During this week’s hearing, Spann entered the court’s holding cell with his head covered in a diaphanous beekeeper-like mask meant to prevent him from spitting on people.

Spann’s erratic behavior has caused authorities to move him to three different jails. He has alternately been held in Sacramento, Placer and, as of Thursday, Yolo County custody, where Spann was transferred after he threw soiled toilet tissue at Placer jailers, his attorney Jennifer Mouzis said.

Spann is charged with attempted murder stemming from an attack on Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Ladwig. Ladwig was on loan to Sacramento Regional Transit when Spann allegedly assaulted him on the platform at the Watt Avenue station near North Highlands as the deputy attempted to check his ticket. Spann allegedly took Ladwig’s service weapon and shot the deputy in the face.

Ladwig underwent surgery for what officials at the time said were “major structural facial injuries” and has since recovered from his wounds.

It is not known when Spann will be fit enough to return to local custody, but Mouzis said she expected her client to soon be able to stand trial.

“Hopefully, he’ll be back in a few months,” Mouzis said.

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