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Friday, June 08, 2018 1:00 am

Judge to hear of murder defendant's fitness

2 experts to testify at hearing

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Psychologists will testify in July about whether a man charged with killing his mother inside her New Haven home last year is competent to stand trial.

Chad A. Ingram, 43, is charged with murder in the death of Heidi Colley, 61, in November. Police found the woman beaten and naked on the floor of a bedroom in her Sherbrook Drive home.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull in February assigned two doctors to conduct psychological evaluations of Ingram after his lawyer filed paperwork questioning whether he “understands the significance of the proceedings he is entangled in” and can help prepare his defense.

Ingram refused to participate in one evaluation, Gull said Thursday, and the other doctor found him incompetent to stand trial, which is set to begin Sept. 11.

The judge said she will subpoena psychologists Kevin Wieland and David Lombard to testify at a hearing July 6.

“There's a real, genuine issue of competency in this case,” defense attorney John Bohdan said.

Ingram was in court Thursday but did not speak.

Police were called to the home Nov. 25, after Colley's brother said he was concerned he hadn't heard from his sister. Ingram was inside, drinking, and near several empty liquor bottles, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Colley's body, covered in bruises, was found in the bedroom and DNA evidence linked Ingram to the crime, court documents allege.

Ingram allegedly told police at the time he was “tanking up” and didn't know that his mother was inside the house.

He was charged with murder in January, after preliminary charges of domestic battery expired.

A request for a competency assessment filed Feb. 14 by Bohdan says Ingram refused meetings and interviews with public defenders and said at a court hearing he did not want a lawyer.

“(Ingram's) current psychological condition and his recent mental status raises concerns over his competency to stand trial,” the document states.

Gull approved the request two days later.  

Defendants found not competent typically are sent to a state hospital for treatment, said Robyn Niedzwiecki, chief of staff for the Allen County prosecutor's office. After treatment, if he or she is deemed competent by doctors, the defendant can be return to the county and the case against them would continue, she said.