Cothran, 92 still in jail after SWAT standoff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- The two week mark is approaching as 92-year-old Y.C. Cothran is still sitting in the Hamilton County jail.
Judge Christine Sell ordered a psych evaluation and passed his case in court Wednesday.
Local attorney Jerry Tidwell does not represent Cothran.
But Tidwell does say police made a tough call arresting him that day and not knowing if he suffered from a mental illness.
"I can see how there is a thought there may be some dementia issues or issues they aren't aware of, Tidwell says. "Whenever there are guns involved, the police are very serious about that."
Police took Cothran to jail on November 25th after a 7-hour SWAT standoff.
Wednesday, the home is boarded up where officers shot smoke filled canisters through his windows to force Cothran out.
Amy French with the Alzheimer's Association is familiar with people who may suffer from or have questions about mental illness.
She says even if Cothran hasn't been diagnosed with any mental illness at this time it my be hard for family members to talk about it if they see signs of behavior changes.
"It can be very difficult to approach anyone on this," says French. "The biggest fear many people have as they age is losing their minds or that control."
Tidwell says the evaluation isn't always a bad thing.
"Sometimes psych evaluations and illuminate factors about behavior," says Tidwell. "It can raise questions about their sanity at the time of the trial or their ability to stand trial."
French says dementia and other mental illnesses are complex issues and sometimes episodes happen unexpectedly.
"If there have been warning signs along the way and it just escalated to a boiling point then it could be a number of things."
Cothran is due in court January 9, 2013.
He is facing two counts of aggravated assault.