A 20-year-old Greencastle man, charged with the murder of his own father in a Sept. 12 stabbing case, will be evaluated by Indiana University psychiatrists to determine his ability to understand court proceedings and assist in his own defense.
On Sept. 14, Putnam Superior Court Judge Charles "Denny" Bridges entered a plea of not guilty to the murder charge on behalf of Thomas W. Badgley, charged with the slaying of his father, Tommie Dale Badgley, 53, at the son's 906 S. Crown St. residence.
Although originally scheduled for a Nov. 28 court appearance for a pretrial conference, Badgley did not appear in Superior Court on Wednesday. Instead, his pauper counsel, Dennis L. Thomas Jr. of Indianapolis, represented him at a meeting with Putnam County Prosecutor's Office officials.
Thomas, a former Greencastle resident and one-time local attorney, has filed a petition to determine competency on Badgley's behalf.
The court, in turn, has issued an order appointing Drs. George Parker and Ned Masbaum of the Indiana University Department of Psychiatry, Indianapolis, to determine the defendant's competence to stand trial.
Dr. Parker set a two-hour appointment on Dec. 13 with a report on Badgley's status due the following day.
Subsequently, a competency hearing has been set for 1 p.m. Jan. 23 in Putnam Superior Court to determine whether or not Badgley can assist in his own defense and understand the proceedings in the courtroom.
During a 10-minute Sept. 14 initial hearing, Judge Bridges asked the suspect if he understood the charges against him or had any questions about the proceedings.
After a lengthy audible sigh, Badgley asked only why certain witnesses were not listed in the paperwork in front of him.
At the request of Putnam County Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter, Judge Bridges ordered Badgley held without bond and the suspect was remanded to the custody of the Putnam County Jail.
The murder charge carries a sentence range of 45-65 years.
An autopsy on the victim has revealed that he died of a single stab wound that entered between two ribs and perforated his heart, court documents noted.
Circumstances leading up to the fatal stabbing evolved when the younger Badgley's roommate became concerned for his friend's safety, thinking he had overdosed after taking several pills (later determined to be Tylenol).
Court documents indicate the roommate then called Badgley's parents, Tommie and Debbie, who rushed to the scene with the intent of getting their son to go to the emergency room. His father reportedly advised, "We have to get you to the hospital."
However, the suspect reportedly responded by standing up and swinging a fist at his dad.
That led the elder Badgley to swing back and assert, "I am not going to stand here and watch my son die," court documents note.
In a statement to police, the roommate said he witnessed Thomas Badgley removing a knife from a kitchen drawer before the roommate went outside and dialed 911. He then reportedly heard the wife/mother scream and the victim cry out in pain.
He then re-entered the house "to find blood everywhere" with Thomas Badgley already handcuffed and in police custody.
Court documents also note that Mrs. Badgley saw her son lunge at her husband and an altercation ensued before the fatal stabbing.