WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– A medical examination claims New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is mentally incompetent to go to court for breaking probation.
Berger was back in court today, but not for long. The district attorney wants a second opinion.
“The purpose of today’s hearing was to going to be to assess whether Mr. Berger has complied with the terms of his probation,” Ben David said.
The prosecution appeared in court with a couple dozen weapons as evidence.
“To allege basically that he absconded from our supervision, that he was caught in the mountains with several weapons he wasn’t allowed to posses, and on and on,” David said.
David was not able to move forward, because the defense presented the judge a medical examination claiming Berger is mentally incompetent at the moment.
“The judge has no choice, but to either find him incompetent today or give us time as the state to get a second opinion,” David explained.
This is a problem, because Berger also faces charges in Avery and Johnston counties.
“He faces 120 days at least and we’re only 41 days into that,” David said. “We would like to have this issue resolved. I wanted this hearing to take place today. I’m hopeful that we can have it, taking place the minute that he is found capable of proceeding.”
Both the DA and the judge agreed treatment needs to be enforced.
“Because if he’s just sitting there languishing in jail then his capability to proceed is not likely to change between now and our next review date,” district court judge Robin Robinson said.
Berger’s attorney claims he’s not getting his medication in jail, but because that issue is protected by HIPAA laws, no one could confirm that fact. They hope to have him capable for the hearing in the next 30 days.