Christopher Calmer rushed to hospital minutes before first court appearance
FORSYTH, Ga. -- Christopher Calmer, the man accused of killing a Monroe County deputy in 2014, was transported to the hospital Thursday morning ahead of his first scheduled court appearance.
There is no word yet as to why he was taken to the hospital.
Calmer is accused of killing Monroe County Deputy Michael Norris in September of 2014 when he and his partner, Deputy Jeff Wilson, responded to a suicide call at Calmer's home. When Norris and Wilson approached the door, Calmer opened fire, killing Norris and injuring Wilson.
Prosecutors have asked for the death penalty in the case.
His first court appearance after jury selection was scheduled for Thursday morning at 9 a.m., but was postponed due to his emergency trip to the hospital at around 11:20 a.m.
He was seen being put into an ambulance on a stretcher outside of the courthouse.
Calmer was brought back into the courtroom by paramedics hours later at around 2:30 p.m. He was still being transported by stretcher. Court proceeded with Calmer remaining flat on the stretcher.
Calmer's attorney told the judge that Calmer was in a lot of pain, though there was not word yet to the public about his diagnosis.
When proceedings continued, Dr. William Taunton with the Medical Center Navicent Health, who observed Calmer during his emergency room visit Thursday, took the stand and testified that Calmer had been taking nerve medication prior to the medical emergency in court, but that it is unlikely that the medication would cause Calmer any cognitive impairment. He also testified that Calmer has some weakness on his left side and that Calmer told him that he has received no recent trauma connected to Thursday's symptoms.
Taunton testified that Calmer's pain was subjective and due to chronic conditions, and that he was adequately medicated and able to understand the court proceedings.
Moans from Calmer could be heard across the courtroom during Taunton's testimony.
Calmer's attorney told he judge that he believed Calmer was not capable of standing trial Thursday, though the judge explained that they would continue with the proceedings because there were two witnesses that came from out of state that needed to be heard that day.
Before court could adjourn, Calmer was taken from the courtroom on a stretcher but returned a short while later.
At one point, Calmer said he was being tortured, and called the judge a torturer for making him remain in the courtroom for the proceedings.
Judge Wilson wrapped up the session at around 5:10 p.m. Thursday. He said the court hearing will resume Friday at 9 a.m.