MENTAL SUSPECT?: Alleged attempted escapee requests consultation

COLUMBIA CITY — A request was made to evaluate a suspect’s mental health condition in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday.Brad Voelz, attorney for Charles Norris, requested a confidential hearing with an expert to evaluate the status of Norris’ mental health.Norris has been charged with attempted escape, a Class B felony, and intimidation with a deadly weapon, a Class C felony.According to the case report, Norris attempted to escape from jail on Dec. 8. He allegedly used a sharpened toothbrush and held it to the throat of a fellow inmate, demanding the jailer to give him the keys. Whitley County Sheriff’s Department jailers were able to bring the situation under control.Whitley County Prosecutor Matthew Rentschler said the request made by Voelz should not be accepted by the court.Whitley County Circuit Court Judge James Heuer said Voelz should make a formal request.A date was also set aside for Norris, which will be April 16 at 9 a.m. for a jury trial, with two days set aside for those proceedings. Final pre-trial is set for April 8.For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Feb. 12 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.