A man charged with assaulting a city jailer and escaping from the Provo City Jail will undergo a 30-day competency evaluation at the Utah County Jail to determine whether he is able to assist his attorney in his defense.
Fourth District Judge Cullen Y. Christensen granted Michael E. Preston's request for the evaluation. Christensen agreed, however, with Deputy Utah County Attorney Jim Taylor that Preston's previously violent actions might pose a problem at the Utah State Hospital, where such evaluations are normally done, and ruled that the testing be performed in the jail, where Preston is incarcerated.Preston, 27, Seattle, is charged with aggravated assault by a prisoner and escape, both second-degree felonies, and possession of cocaine, a third-degree felony.
Preston was arrested during a routine traffic stop in Provo on Jan. 27 after police learned he was wanted in Washington state on a rape charge. He was booked into the city jail and escaped after overpowering the jailer, beating him and leaving him nearly unconscious.
He was apprehended in Holladay by U.S. marshals three days later.