Mental evaluation ordered in child porn case

By Stephen Gallien - email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A former Albertville pediatrician charged with possessing child pornography will undergo a mental evaluation to determine his mental competency.

A federal judge has ordered Michael Sharpe to be examined by a forensic psychologist November 13th.

Sharpe was arrested after a federal grand jury indicted him in September for possession of child pornography images on his cell phone.

The federal judge approved the request from Sharpe's attorney for the psychological testing with the goal of determining if Sharpe is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect that would render him incompetent to assist in his defense or to stand trial.  The testing will also be used to determine if Sharpe was mentally competent at the time of the alleged offense.

Sharpe has claimed he has a history of psychological issues after two traumatic brain injuries.

The judge ordered Dr. Kimberly Ackerson to conduct next week's testing at the Jefferson County jail with the costs evenly shared by the U.S. Attorney's office and the Administrative Offices of the Court.

The results of the tests will be filed under seal and distributed to the U.S. Attorney, Sharpe's attorney and the U.S. Probation Office.

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