Silt home invasion suspect receives inadequate mental health evaluation, defense argues

The case of a Rifle man accused of breaking into a Silt foster home at gunpoint went back before 9th Judicial Court Judge Denise Lynch on Thursday morning.

Janvier Pinkard, 37, was arrested in December 2020 after he was accused of using a handgun to force entry into the home. There, he accused — with no evidence — the foster family of keeping child pornography of his daughter.

In early December 2022, Pinkard pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and his mental condition to felony charges, including menacing, first-degree burglary, criminal intent to commit first-degree kidnapping, intimidation of a victim and felon in possession of weapon.

Janvier Pinkard.

Pinkard was ordered by Lynch to undergo mental-health evaluations and remanded to the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo. He is now back in Garfield County Jail on a $107,500 cash bond. But attorney Trent Palmer, Pinkard’s legal counsel, on Thursday argued that Pinkard did not fully cooperate in the evaluations, nor did Pinkard receive an adequate mental condition evaluation, referring to it as a “short, sort of video chat nature.”

“I don’t think this evaluation was sufficient,” Palmer said.

“His evaluation needs to be done elsewhere, and I’ve asked the court to, again, order this evaluation to occur at a facility,” he added.

He said he will file a motion requesting a hearing within 14 days of an additional evaluation. He also said an additional evaluation is to help determine whether Pinkard is competent to stand trial.

District Attorney Ben Sollars argued, however, that if the court were to order an additional mental evaluation for Pinkard, it creates additional appellate problems.

Sollars also called this “fodder for examination.”

“With respect to a speedy trial, if we already have an evaluation and things of that nature, I think that opens up perhaps more problems than it solves.”

Pinkard’s more recent stay in Garfield County Jail includes him going on a hunger strike, according to Assistant District Attorney Graham Jackson.

“The sheriff is the one taking care of Mr. Pinkard and, by statute, has a responsibility to feed him and provide medical care to him,” Jackson said. “As I’m sure the court is aware of in the letters filed last week, Mr. Pinkard’s hunger strike is protracted.” 

“He is clearly in pretty dire straits. The jail has undergone significant efforts to figure out how to deal with this.” 

Jackson said the county has considered bond modifications, held discussions about Pinkard’s competency, explored certification or mental health holds and even discussed with Pinkard’s family possible medical decision proxies and guardianship issues.

“It’s relatively limited to file a civil case for involuntary nourishment and hydration,” Jackson said, adding the county may file a civil case against Pinkard in the next week or so. “But we’re getting close to that point.”

Lynch set a competency hearing for Pinkard at 1:30 p.m. on June 22.

Post Independent Assistant Editor and lead western Garfield County reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at or 612-423-5273.

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