Jerrod Hartman, accused of murdering his infant son, has invoked an insanity defense.
Hartman, 25, of Findlay, on Thursday pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in Hancock County Common Pleas Court to murder and endangering children charges.
Judge Joseph Niemeyer accepted Hartman’s change of plea and set a Jan. 20 trial date.
Hartman’s son, James, who was 44 days old, died Oct. 28 at 321 Third St. in Findlay, city police said. A coroner ruled the death was a homicide from multiple blunt trauma.
The insanity plea regards Jerrod Hartman’s criminal responsibility for the death of his son, said his attorney, Lorin Zaner. It does not pertain to Hartman’s competency to stand trial, Zaner said.
Judge Niemeyer ordered a psychiatric evaluation at the Court Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Toledo. A report is due within 30 days.
The new plea came after experts determined Hartman has parasomnia, a sleep disorder, Zaner wrote to the court.
Parasomnias are a wide range of disorders that can cause outbursts. Symptoms include flailing limbs and sleep terrors.
Courier reporter Ryan Dunn will have more on Friday.