Chesterton Tribune



Notice of insanity defense filed in standoff case

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The attorney for the Jackson Township man who authorities say barricaded himself into his home on Aug. 14 and shot at police officers has filed a notice of insanity defense.

Attorney Bob Harper filed the notice on Monday.

Specifically, Harper alleges that Eric Martin, 45, of 363E 1050N, is not currently competent to stand trial, that he was “insane” on the day in question, and that “it might even be hard for doctors to communicate with him until he is under some sort of medication.”

Harper, accordingly, is asking the court either to hold a “quick hearing and substantiate the facts of his condition from jail personnel”; or to order him transferred to Logansport State Hospital; or to have Porter Starke Services “get him back on some sort of medication so he can be dealt with.”

Martin was formally charged on Friday with six counts of attempted murder; one of aggravated battery; and seven of criminal recklessness.

According to the filing, Martin “has been treated for years by the doctors at Porter Starke and is on several medications” and that he initially “started losing touch with reality” a number of years ago “due to some incident at work or illness.”

The filing alleges the following:

* Martin “imagines that he’s married” although he never has been and has taken to wearing his father’s wedding ring and giving family jewelry to “imaginary girlfriends.”

* Several days before the incident at his home, Martin reported to work at ArcelorMittal, believing it was his former employer Bethlehem Steel, and at the time “it was obvious” that he knew neither where he was nor that he hadn’t worked at the mill in years.

* On the morning in question, Martin’s “parents woke up and discovered that he did not recognize them or know who they were,” prompting them to secure a court order committing him to Porter Starke on an emergency hold. But “before that could happen, he attacked his father,” inflicting wounds which Harper characterized as “superficial.”

* Martin is now being held in a padded cell at the Porter County Jail “and for most of the time cannot converse intelligently,” “screams that he has rabies,” and “sometimes imagines he’s in a different place.”

Martin, Harper concludes, “is not competent to stand trial nor was he responsible for his actions” at his home on Aug. 14, because “he was insane at the time.”



Posted 8/20/2013