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Competency evaluation sought for man accused of beating mom

Union Leader Correspondent

December 04. 2012 4:06PM

MERRIMACK -- A Nashua man accused of severely beating his mother last week was back in court Tuesday, and his competency is already being questioned.

Attorneys for Thomas Foden, 39, of 57 Tyler St., Apt. 409, Nashua, filed a motion seeking a competency evaluation for their client, who is charged with burglary and three felony counts of second-degree assault.

Police say Foden allegedly pushed his mother's face into a glass cabinet and inserted his finger into her eye on Nov. 25 at her Merrimack home. The assault caused a serious head laceration to Foden's mother, Alicia J. Flanders, 66, as well as a severed ear and ruptured eye socket. Foden's mental health was immediately brought to light during his arraignment last week at the 9th Circuit Court, Merrimack District Division. More concerns were raised Tuesday.

"He was found to be dangerous," Judge Clifford Kinghorn said during Tuesday's probable cause hearing.

After his arrest, Foden was sent to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center for a mental evaluation, at which time he was found to be dangerous and an emergency admission to the New Hampshire Hospital was deemed appropriate, according to court testimony.

However, Attorney Amanda Steenhuis told the judge that the state psychiatric hospital will not accept Foden.

"They refused to take him, as I understand it," she told the court, explaining the hospital was concerned with the severity of the charges and the high amount of bail set at $150,000 cash.

Foden has been held at the Valley Street jail since his arrest the night of the attack. Kinghorn said it is unusual for the hospital to reject someone, adding it may be the first time he has heard of the New Hampshire Hospital refusing a patient.

"It raised some eyebrows in my office," agreed Attorney Edward Cross, who is also representing Foden. The motion seeking a competency evaluation has been sealed under Cross' recommendation. However, it was previously stated in court that Foden has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has ongoing mental health issues.

Foden, who called police while he was still at the crime scene, admitted to authorities that he assaulted Flanders, according to a police affidavit on file in court. It will likely take about 60 days for the competency evaluation to be completed. Foden will next appear in court on Feb. 5.

Crime, law and justice Merrimack


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