Insanity defense entered in wake of Jackson Township standoff

2013-08-19T16:06:00Z 2013-08-20T11:06:04Z Insanity defense entered in wake of Jackson Township standoffBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
August 19, 2013 4:06 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A 45-year-old man was insane during a lengthy standoff with police last week at his Jackson Township home and thus is not responsible for his actions or competent to stand trial, according to a motion filed Monday by his attorney.

The motion asks a judge to transfer Eric Martin to the state mental hospital in Logansport or bring in Porter-Starke Services of Valparaiso to help with Martin at the Porter County Jail.

Martin, who is being held in a padded cell, cannot converse intelligently most of the time, screams he has rabies, occasionally imagines he is in a different place and throws away his food trays, according to the motion filed by defense attorney Bob Harper.

An initial hearing before Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford has yet to take place as a result of Martin's mental condition.

Martin is charged with six Class A felony counts of attempted murder, one Class B felony count of aggravated battery and seven Class C felony counts of criminal recklessness.

Martin was arrested Wednesday after barricading himself in his parents' home on County Road 1050 North for nearly nine hours.

Police were called to the scene by the Chesterton Medical Center, where Martin's father was treated for injuries after being attacked by his son, police said.

Police said Louis Martin, 78, was badly bruised and had knife wounds. Harper's motion said the father's wounds were superficial.

Eric Martin is a Purdue University graduate and had worked as a supervisor at Bethlehem Steel until several years ago, when he suffered some sort of incident at work or illness that caused him to lose touch with reality, according to the defense motion. He was placed on Social Security disability, has lived with his parents and has been treated by Porter-Starke.

Martin imagines he is married, wears his father's wedding ring and takes family jewelry to give to imaginary girlfriends, according to the motion.

A few days before his arrest, Martin showed up at the ArcelorMittal plant, which had been Bethlehem Steel, and thought he was reporting to work. His parents reportedly picked him up without incident.

On the morning of the arrest, Martin reportedly did not recognize his parents and attacked his father, the motion states.

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