Man charged with trying to shoot officer is found fit to stand trial

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Nico Savidge
Monday, August 5, 2013

JANESVILLE—A Clinton man who spent months in a mental health institution after police say he tried to kill an officer was found fit to stand trial at a hearing Monday afternoon.

Terrance P. Robinson, 59, of 703 Carol St. Apt. K, Clinton, made his first in-person appearance in Rock County Court at a competency hearing Monday.

A doctor found Robinson is competent and can assist in his defense against three felony counts, including attempted murder, stemming from a May 16 disturbance in his apartment.

Robinson is accused of taking Clinton police officer Dave Hooker's gun from him during a struggle, then pointing the gun at Hooker's chest and pulling the trigger six to eight times, according to court documents.

Hooker kept the gun from firing by pushing back the weapon's slide, police said.

Robinson appeared only for a couple of minutes during the brief hearing, wearing an orange Rock County jail jumpsuit with his hands shackled.

As he left Judge James Daley's courtroom, he and his wife—seated in the gallery—told each other, “I love you.”

Robinson spent more than two months on a mental health hold after the incident, and at least part of that time at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison. Medical privacy laws prohibit the release of the exact details of Robinson's confinement.

He was booked into the Rock County Jail this morning, an official there said.

Neither Assistant District Attorney Mark M. Jahnke nor Robinson's attorney, Walter Isaacson, challenged the doctor's finding that Robinson is fit to stand trial.

The report leaves unanswered the question of Robinson's competency in May, when authorities said they were called to his apartment after he had made statements about killing everyone in his home and burning it down.

Robinson begged Hooker to kill him, and at one point tried to strangle himself with an electrical cord, according to a criminal complaint.

Asked after the hearing if he would raise the issue of Robinson's mental health during the incident, Isaacson declined to comment, saying he did not want to speculate.

A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Last updated: 4:33 pm Monday, August 5, 2013

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