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Judge orders Kroger shooting suspect to return to mental health facility

By Danielle Haynes
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys sought to return Gregory Bush to the state's mental health facility. File Photo courtesy of the Louisville Department of Corrections
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys sought to return Gregory Bush to the state's mental health facility. File Photo courtesy of the Louisville Department of Corrections

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A Kentucky judge on Thursday ordered a man accused of killing two people at a Kroger store in a racially fueled shooting to return to a mental health facility.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Annie O'Connell also ordered Gregory Bush, 52, to undergo another competency evaluation three months after a psychiatric report found him to be competent to stand trial. She made the ruling after both prosecutors and defense attorneys expressed concern about the man's mental health.

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"There are some renewed concerns about his competency to stand trial as of today," prosecutor Milja Zgonjanin said during Thursday's hearing. "We are agreeing to send Mr. Bush back to [Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center] for an updated competency evaluation. Part of that agreement is that KCPC also maintain custody and house Mr. Bush."

Bush has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, one count of criminal attempted murder and two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment at the state level, and three hate crime charges and three gun charges at the federal level.

He's accused of killing Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67, and injuring a third person in a Kroger shooting in October 2018.

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Prior to carrying out the shooting at the grocery store Bush allegedly attempted to enter the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown, whose congregation is predominantly black, and witnesses said he told another man at the shooting scene "whites don't kill whites" before he was arrested.

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