Florida Pastor Evan Evans, 64, and his son Josh, 30, face 30 years in prison if convicted on the highest conspiracy charge to commit bank fraud after allegedly obtaining $8 million in Covid-19 relief funds fraudulently. But as the case moves forward, the elder pastor’s lawyer has said his client is in declining health and unable to speak after no-showing in court, Rich Schapiro and Laura Strickler report for NBC News.
The elder Evans failed to show up for his first court hearing after refusing to get in his wheelchair, according to an attorney. The judge has ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Edwards after he had difficulty communicating. The prosecutor took no issue with assessing his health but said Edwards had been speaking before “just fine.” The Edwards family had previous run-ins with the law before the alleged Covid-19 relief fraud, including suspicious police stops.