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Eliason undergoes psychiatric evaluation

Published 11:03pm Thursday, July 22, 2010

By JESSICA SIEFF

Niles Daily Star

Dakotah Eliason underwent yet another psychiatric evaluation as prosecutor Art Cotter and defense attorney Lanny Fisher await trial proceedings scheduled to start in August.

Dr. Philip Berent, a psychiatrist with Madison Center in South Bend, met with Eliason at the Berrien County Juvenile Detention Center Thursday morning.

“He’s a psychiatrist with an extensive background in forensic examinations.” Fisher said. Those two elements combined with Berent’s experience working with juveniles were the three primary attributes Fisher said he was looking for in a psychiatric expert.

The case against Eliason, 14, who is charged with the murder of his grandfather, Jesse Miles, in March, met the deadline July 2 for any possible plea agreements; there were none.

At that time, Fisher made a motion regarding his evaluation of his client for the defense, requesting the county cover the costs of the chosen expert.

Eliason had until Thursday, and had only been evaluated on behalf of the prosecution.

Judge Scott Schofield ruled July 8 the county would cover the costs for Eliason to be evaluated again.

Fisher said it would be up to Berent how many times he felt it necessary to meet with Eliason.

Though he said he’s not trying to “find” anything in regard to his client’s evaluation, Fisher said, “I want the doctor to just find what’s there — if there’s anything there.”

“With a case like this, when there’s a lot of questions,” Fisher said, he’s hoping Berent’s expertise will help lead to insight.

The defense attorney has said previously such evaluations are “very important” to the case on both sides.

The trial has been set for Aug. 17-19.

Fisher said he’s been in regular contact with Eliason’s father Steven. His client has shown no real change in behavior, he said.

“He’s just been pretty steady,” he said.

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  • HANNI

    FIRST OF ALL LETS LOOK AT THE VERY VERY BAD CHOICES MADE BY THE BERRIEN COUNTY JUVINILE DETENTION CENTER. DAKOTAH IS BEING HELD IN A DORM ROOM WHERE HE BUNKS WITH OTHER KIDS. IF YOUR KID WAS IN FOR STEALING AND WAS SLEEPING IN THE SAME ROOM AS HIM WOULD YOU FEEL YOUR KID WAS SAFE. DAKOTAH HAS REACHED LEVEL 3 PRIVLIGES THIS MEANS HE CAN LEAVE THE FACILITY WITH A PARENT OR GRANDPARENT ESCORT. LOL DO THEY REALIZE THAT HE MURDERED HIS GRANDPA EXECUTION STYLE. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE.

  • HANNI

    HAS ANYONE THOUGHT OF THE FACT THAT THIS MIGHT NOT BE DAKOTAH’S FIRST MURDER. WHAT ABOUT THE TARWACKI MURDER ON CARBERRY RD THIS IS VERY CLOSE TO WHERE DAKOTAH LIVED AND THERE WAS NO MOTIVE FOR THOSE KILLINGS JUST MORE COLD BLOODED MURDER. YEA LETS SPEND A BUNCH OF THE TAXPAYERS MONEY TO HAVE HIM EVALUATED WHILE HIS MOTHER AND FATHER FILE BANKRUPTCY. AFTER THE THINGS ALREADY KNOWN BY OUR COURT AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES NO EVALUATION REQUIRED. GET AND KEEP HIM OFF THE STREETS FOR LIFE.

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