The man accused of terrorizing a York City school last month and threatening to kill all the children inside could be too mentally ill to stand trial, according to his defense attorney.
Eric Schelmety remains in York County Prison on $500,000 bail.
"He has a severe mental illness that will probably prevent him from ever standing trial," defense attorney Heather Reiner said. "Based on my observations ... I don't think he's competent (to stand trial) now, and I don't think with treatment he'll ever be competent."
Reiner filed a petition Wednesday requesting a competency evaluation for Schelmety, according to court records.
She said his preliminary hearing will be postponed, and a new date won't be set at this point. The proceeding had been scheduled for April 2, according to court records.
Not opposed: Chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday said he doesn't oppose the mental-health evaluation.
Every citizen has the right to due process, and he has a right to due process like anyone else does," Sunday said. "If that entails a mental-health evaluation to determine competency, then I support that. Because our job is to seek the truth and to ensure that justice is properly administered."
If the defense psychiatrist determines Schelmety is too ill to be tried, the prosecution could then seek its own mental-health expert to either back up the defense findings or challenge them.
"We will explore all options in the prosecution of this case," Sunday said. "I would certainly like to see this defendant have a day in court in front of a jury of his peers. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
It will be up to the presiding judge to rule on whether Schelmety is competent to stand trial, the prosecutor said.
The allegations: Schelmety, 30, of 1127 E. King St., is charged with making terroristic threats, ethnic intimidation, institutional vandalism, reckless endangerment, defiant trespass and criminal mischief.
York City Police arrested Schelmety at Phineas Davis K-8, 300 S. Ogontz St., about 4:10 p.m. Feb. 27.
As he was led away from the school in handcuffs, Schelmety called out, "I did it for my daughter. ... You thought I was crazy. I am crazy — for my daughter."
Police rushed to the school for a report of gunfire.
No gun: The shots people thought they heard before they called 911 were likely the loud noises of Schelmety damaging property in the school's lobby, York City Police Chief Wes Kahley said, adding a gun was not found. No students or staff were hurt, he said.
When officers arrived at the school, they found Schelmety in the lobby, smashing windows in an attempt to get into the school office, according to charging documents.
He was using a mop handle and vacuum cleaner to break windows, and also destroyed light fixtures, ripped items off the walls and yelled threats, documents state, including "I'm going to kill all the students in school ... everybody!"
Hid under desks: As this was going on, students and office personnel took cover under desks in the office, according to police.
There were 83 students and 31 staff members in the school at the time, police said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.