Pubdate: Fri, 07 Jul 2017
Source: Blade, The (Toledo, OH)
Copyright: 2017 The Blade
Author: Jennifer Feehan


Deb Sheamer and other friends of Charmaine Bassett protest her arrest
and detention outside of the Lucas County Courthouse on June 21.

Friends of Charmaine Bassett protest her arrest and detention outside
of the Lucas County Courthouse on June 21.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Michael Goulding on Friday found a
Toledo woman charged with selling marijuana and illegal mushrooms for
"spiritual purposes" competent to stand trial on felony drug charges.

Charmaine Rose Bassett, 56, of the 3400 block of Secor Road entered
not guilty pleas to aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated
trafficking in drugs, and trafficking in marijuana. She is the founder
and "medicine woman" at Anyana-Kai, a member of the Oklevueha Native
American Church.

Though Bassett has previously refused to have an attorney represent
her, she appeared in court with a lawyer and remained silent. Toledo
attorney Scott Ciolek said he had been hired to represent Bassett,
although she intended to retain her "jurisdictional defenses."

Indicted on the drug charges in January, Bassett has been held in the
Lucas County jail since she was arrested June 7 in northeast Ohio
after leaving the county and failing to appear for a court hearing in

After she was uncooperative in court, Judge Goulding ordered her to
undergo a competency evaluation. On Friday, he said that while she
"refused to answer certain questions about her identity etc.," she
appeared to be competent based on a report from the Court Diagnostic
and Treatment Center.

"She was quite loquacious. She appeared adequate in appearance and
demeanor," the judge said. "She did not display any disorganization of
speech or any of the telltale signs that would indicate incompetency.
While her claims and beliefs one might take issue with on a logical
level, there's nothing at least medically speaking that I see in this
report that would tend to indicate concern for Ms. Bassett's" competency.

Mr. Ciolek asked for - and received - permission from the court to
talk with the sheriff's office about allowing Bassett to take an
alternative tuberculosis test so that she can be moved into the jail's
general population. Because Bassett has refused the test, he said, she
has been in an isolation cell.

Supporters and church members who have been holding regular "Free
Charmaine" protests outside the courthouse filled the courtroom.
Bassett said "I love you guys" as she was led back to jail by deputies.

A pretrial hearing was set for 9 a.m. July 14.
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