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An elderly Graham County man accused of hitting his neighbor with a hammer and cutting his fence has a new attorney and a new preliminary hearing date.

Justice of the Peace Gary Griffith was scheduled to decide Tuesday if Roy Anderson, 83, should undergo a competency evaluation and if he should be bound over for trial on aggravated assault and other charges in connection with an Aug. 27 incident on East Sanchez Road.

However, Griffith was forced to recuse himself from the case because Anderson replaced his first attorney with Griffith’s brother, David. The recusal caused Tuesday’s hearing to be rescheduled until Sept. 22.

During the brief hearing, David Griffith also asked the judge to withdrawn his predecessor’s motion for a competency evaluation. The judge did so.

Defense attorney Josi Lopez had told the judge last week she had serious concerns about Anderson’s ability to understand court proceedings and/or his ability to help her prepare a defense.

Anderson had several outbursts during last week’s hearing, but remained calm during Tuesday’s hearing. He is now out of custody.

According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, an East Sanchez Road resident called 911 to report that Anderson attacked him with a hammer after he confronted him for trespassing on his land and cutting his barbed wire fence to get around the front-end loader tractor he’d parked in front of a BLM gate Anderson has been using.

The man told deputies Anderson has repeatedly trespassed on his land and the attack ended when he stepped on Anderson’s hand to get the hammer away. When he walked to his house to call 911, the man said he heard a gunshot, according to the report.

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