LOCKPORT – The trial of a Niagara Falls man accused of a house burglary last summer ran into a roadblock after the defendant was admitted to the mental health unit of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Monday night.
Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano said in Niagara County Court Tuesday that he wanted a mental competency evaluation for Edward J. Parmer, 52, of 22nd Street, after Parmer repeatedly fell asleep during jury selection Monday. Catalano said he also had a conversation with his client after court that concerned him. Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas signed an order for the examination.
Catalano said hospital staffers told him Parmer had been admitted to the hospital “for several days.” He said Parmer’s girlfriend told him that Parmer has been in Memorial’s mental unit twice recently, once for seven days and once for 10 days.
Assistant District Attorney Theresa L. Prezioso said Parmer is charged with second-degree burglary, petit larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property in connection with a July 18 break-in on Willow Avenue in the Falls. The trial is on hold until at least Friday.