NEWPORT CITY - The Newport man who stood on his roof with a gun, while an army of law enforcement officers cleared the neighborhood and worked to bring him down was found competent to stand trial. Derick Niles, 36, of Newport City was returned to the Northern State Correctional Facility Tuesday for a lack of $100,000 bail.
A report given to the court stated that Niles is competent. Neither State's Attorney Alan Franklin nor public defender Janssen Willhoit argued with the report.
On Sept. 25 Niles denied charges of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. In court and as police led him away that day, Niles made random comments about crystal meth and the Hell's Angels. He was ordered to undergo a competency evaluation. Niles was much calmer in court Tuesday.
According to court records, Niles called 911 at 5:18 a.m. Sept. 25 to report that 400 police officers were pointing guns outside his Highland Avenue home in Newport City, but at the time of the call there were none. Newport City Police Officer Charles Moulton, the only uniformed officer on duty, tried to reason with Niles on the phone, but he refused to listen. Moulton went to Nile's home and found him on the roof of his garage with a cell phone. A dispatcher told Moulton that Niles had two guns, and his son was in the woods behind the house with a deer rifle. Police closed off the road and evacuated homes including Niles' family. Several hours later, police took Niles into custody.
In court, Willhoit told Judge Howard VanBenthuysen that the defense requested the state dismiss the case.
"The state said it would seriously consider that, but it is not prepared to do that at this time," Willhoit said.
The state has not agreed Niles was insane on Sept. 25, Franklin said. That information will come in time, Franklin said. Willhoit said the case should go through to jury. If Niles was sane at the time then making him wait now is not fair.