GREAT BARRINGTON -- A Lee man accused of shooting his stepson and killing the family dog last month will remain in a psychiatric hospital for a mental health evaluation until at least the end of January.

On Thursday, Southern Berkshire District Court Judge Fredric Rutberg ordered the continuation of 51-year-old Phap Nguyen's evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital until his next court appearance on Jan. 31. Nguyen's evaluation is to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Meanwhile, Nguyen's stepson, 30-year-old Jeremy Lee Deane, is out of the hospital after being treated for three gunshot wounds. He was released from Berkshire Medical Center five days after the shooting, according to hospital officials.

Nguyen has been held without bail since he was arraigned Dec. 14 in Central Berkshire District Court. He has pleaded not guilty to one count each of armed assault to murder and animal cruelty.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, authorities say Nguyen fired a 9 mm pistol at Deane who was struck once in each leg and the abdomen.

The shooting took place in the kitchen of their home on Beartown Mountain Road in South Lee.

Nyugen supposedly killed the dog with a single shot to its head.

Lee police and state police said they found Nguyen distraught when they arrested him at the residence, shortly after the shooting. Family members told police Nguyen had been on painkillers for ongoing back problems and was acting unstable the last few months before the shooting.

His daughter told police Nguyen had said that "the devil" was "coming to get him" and that Deane was "pushing him toward the devil."

Nguyen, who is originally from Vietnam, previously suffered "flashbacks," according to what his family told police.

Nguyen is being represented by attorney Nathaniel Green. Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Kelly M. Kemp is prosecuting.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.