Court allows extensionA Dickinson man’s court hearing over a burglary and shooting in July is being held up because he hasn’t seen a proper psychiatrist, his attorney said.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
A Dickinson man’s court hearing over a burglary and shooting in July is being held up because he hasn’t seen a proper psychiatrist, his attorney said.
Joel Wetzel, 59, intends to claim he has a mental disease or defect when he attends his trial, according to Stark County Court records.
His attorney, Kevin McCabe, said Tuesday he is looking for a doctor who specializes in post traumatic stress disorder. McCabe declined to comment on whether Wetzel has been diagnosed with this disorder.
Wetzel’s pretrial conference was rescheduled Tuesday, since Wetzel has not seen a specialist.
“We’re really in a position that I think we have to ask for a continuance, through no fault of Mr. McCabe,” Stark County Assistant State’s Attorney James Hope said at the hearing.
The judge allowed an extra 60 days so a psychiatrist could evaluate Wetzel.
McCabe said part of the difficulty in finding a specialist is Wetzel does not have money to cover the cost of an evaluation. Wetzel may also need public funds to help pay for it.
“If he had the money, we could send him anywhere he wanted to go,” McCabe said. “But we’ve got to find out how much it’s going to cost him first.”
Wetzel is charged with two counts of terrorizing, burglary, and two counts of reckless endangerment. He allegedly entered the home of Patricia Ewoniuk and Arnie Sickler in Dickinson in July by breaking a window and fired a rifle at a bedroom door in the home, according to court records.
Metal fragments struck Sickler in the leg. Wetzel then allegedly pointed his rifle at an officer, and was then shot in the torso by another officer.
Wetzel is being held at Dickinson’s Southwest Multi County Correction Center on a $100,000 bond.
His pretrial conference has been rescheduled for March 17 at 1:30 p.m.