Niles man charged with murder awaiting mental health status report

NILES — The Niles man who is alleged to have strangled his girlfriend to death was scheduled to appear in Berrien County Trial Court for a case conference on Wednesday morning, but the proceeding was delayed due to a pending mental health status.

James Parker Huffman, 52, was charged with open murder following the death of his girlfriend, Angela Cluver, 52.

According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cortney O’Malley Septoski, Huffman’s mental health status is under evaluation and court council is awaiting a report, which delayed Huffman’s Wednesday court proceeding.

Huffman is being represented by defense attorney Scott Sanford, who filed a notice of insanity for Huffman.

Court council did discuss the progress of the case Wednesday, but with the purpose to put on record that Huffman is still being evaluated, Septoski said.

Huffman’s status conference has been scheduled for Jan. 17. He is set to go to trial Jan. 24 to Jan. 26.

In July, Huffman confessed to Niles police that he had murdered Cluver at their residence, 996 S. 14th St. in Niles. Police responded to the scene and found Cluver deceased inside.

Huffman has since told authorities that he had an agreement to kill Cluver and then himself, according to court documents.

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