FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Five years to the day of being formally charged with murder in connection to his mother’s beating death, a New Haven man was deemed competent to stand trial.
After a competency hearing Tuesday, an Allen Superior Court judge scheduled Chad Ingram’s trial to begin July 11, according to court records.
Ingram is accused of beating his mother, 61-year-old Heidi A. Colley, to death in 2017.
Police were called to 1616 Sherbrook Drive one afternoon in November 2017 on a well-being check after someone said they had not seen Colley, the homeowner, for some time. Officers went to the home and were let inside by a family member that called police.
That’s when officers found Colley lying on a bedroom floor inside the home dead.
The Allen County Coroner found that Colley died of blunt force trauma to the head and ruled her death a homicide.
The then-42-year-old Ingram was initially questioned about the killing but was too drunk to be interviewed, police said at the time. Investigators arrested him on a preliminary charge of domestic battery but he was later released after formal charges were not filed against him.
Afterward, police arrested him again on a misdemeanor count of trespassing at his slain mother’s home.
On Jan. 31, 2018, Allen County prosecutors formally charged Ingram with murder in Colley’s death.
That’s when the legal wrangling over whether Ingram could understand the charges against him and stand trial began, according to court records.
A judge ruled in 2018 Ingram not competent to stand trial after a psychologist testified that Ingram has delusional disorder and/or bipolar disorder and was unable to help his attorneys with his defense, according to court documents.
The psychologist said in court documents that Ingram gave bizarre answers to questions and the judge decided to shelve a scheduled trial at the time. Ingram was sent to be held at a state hospital, according to court records.
Multiple competency hearings were held in 2022, one which ended with a judge ordering Ingram to be forcefully medicated with drugs prescribed by a psychologist while another ended with a ruling that he was still unable to assist his attorney.
While found competent to stand trial Tuesday, Ingram was ordered transferred back to the state hospital where he has been staying.
His trial is scheduled to last four days, according to court records.