Mental exam ordered in Dozier case


BATAVIA — A panel of jurors was waiting Monday for the first jury trial in Genesee County Court in nearly two years.

They would be sent home as a case that has stalled for nearly three years was adjourned for yet one more time.

Plush Dozier, 25, was to face trial Monday on charges of attempted murder for allegedly setting his girlfriend on fire on June 16, 2018.

His attorney, Frederick Rarick, however, requested a second mental health exam for his client and Judge Charles Zambito granted the request.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell said he objected to the request, as Dozier already has had a mental health exam.

Dozier was determined fit to stand trial in September 2019.

COVID postponed trials in county courts across New York.

In July, Dozier refused to have a trial by judge and opted for a jury trial.

Rarick, at the time, urged his client to reconsider but Dozier refused.

The case had to be adjourned again until courts were opened to jurors.

Zambito ordered Dozier to appear again in County Court June 20, where, if it is determined Dozier is fit to stand trial, a new date will likely be set, Finnell said.

In the meantime, Dozier and his family are attempting to raise money to get a new attorney.

A gofundme account with a goal of $25,000 was established May 26 by Enough is Enough and FTP Free The People Roc, a community-based initiative in Rochester.

Dozier’s case drew the attention of the groups because Dozier had spent nearly three years in jail but has not been convicted and, allegedly, suffers from mental health issues. He has since been bailed out.

“Though Plush Dozier has never been convicted of a crime, he spent more than two years in jail and 9 months at Attica Maximum Security Prison,” the page says. “He desperately needs a good attorney to free him from the American criminal injustice system.”

Dozier has been in jail since his arrest in 2018.

Dozier is accused of attempting to kill his girlfriend by setting her on fire inside her apartment at 35 Maple St. She suffered serious injuries. Four children were able to escape the fire.

Since then, Dozier has seen delay after delay in his case, mainly because of his actions:

n In October 2018, his first attorney, Marty Anderson, requested a competency hearing for Dozier.

*During that same appearance, Dozier, who already had asked that the public defender be removed from his case, asked that Anderson also be removed.

n A month later Dozier was arrested and charged with felony criminal mischief and attempted menacing of a police officer stemming from his behavior inside a patrol car on the way to court. He damaged the car and threatened a deputy.

n Dozier was moved to Attica Correctional Facility because of his behavior in jail.

n He also received a new attorney, Thomas Burns.

n The case dragged until September 2019, when he was determined fit to stand trial.

n In December Dozier was indicted on two felony counts of criminal mischief for damaging the patrol car and kicking out a window at jail.

n Dozier once again asked for a new attorney and Rarick replaced Burns.

Dozier’s mental health status has been an issue since the start of the case.

The gofundme account says Dozier suffers from severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, schitzoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and psychotic disorder.

The gofundme has raised $2,395 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Dozier faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of attempted second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1