MIFFLINTOWN - A 32-year-old man who sustained serious injuries as the result of a shootout with police was recently declared incompetent to stand trial by a doctor hired to perform a mental health evaluation.
Brian Ulmer, who represents Brian C. Janson, recently filed a petition in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas, in which he asks the court to find his client incompetent to stand trial based on Dr. Richard E. Dowell, Jr's psychological evaluation.
Janson sustained serious JANSON injuries, including a gunshot wound to the head, which destroyed one of his eyes. Police opened fire on Janson on Aug. 17, 2010, after he pointed a gun at several officers, according to court documents.
Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook said he was still examining the report submitted to his office by Ulmer.
"I'm considering whether or not to have our own evaluation done. That decision has not been made yet," Snook said.
In the petition Ulmer submitted to the court, it states Janson "does not have the ability to consult rationally with an attorney to aid in his defense" and "does not posses the ability to have a rational and factual understanding of the charges."
The petition further states that "Dr. Dowell believes (Janson's) condition is permanent."
"I think the petition speaks for itself," Ulmer said.
Ulmer said he has "no doubt" this has been a difficult case for everyone involved, especially his client and that this case has been "handled professionally by the district attorney and the court."
"The decision (to find Janson incompetent) ultimately rests in the hands of a judge or jury," Ulmer said.
At a preliminary hearing in August 2011, Janson had to be helped into the courtroom by family members because he had difficulty moving around and it appeared he also had trouble speaking. Janson subsequently waived his right to a preliminary hearing and the charges were bound over to the court of common pleas.
During a court appearance in September, Janson appeared to be able to move around on his own, without the help of others.
On the day of the shooting, Police opened fire on Janson after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers following a lengthy manhunt to track him down to answer questions about an alleged domestic dispute with his girlfriend that occurred several hours prior to the shooting. Janson is also alleged to have stolen two trucks following the dispute, court documents indicate.
The August shooting was ruled justified by Snook in December 2010 following a four-month investigation. Janson spent several months at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recuperating from the wounds he sustained during the incident.
As troopers approached the passenger's side of the car, Janson was ordered to drop his weapon and show his hands, police said. Janson reportedly ignored those commands and exited the vehicle on the driver's side, brought the weapon to his shoulder and aimed it at police, who then fired at Janson, according to documents.
A total of four Pennsylvania State Police troopers fired at Janson that morning, all of whom were placed on administrative duties while Snook conducted his investigation.
Janson is charged with several counts of attempted homicide, attempted assault of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief and prohibited possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, Janson remains free on bail and was previously released to the custody of his sister who lives in New Jersey.
Janson is tentatively scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 15. No trial date has been set.