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Doctors to examine ex-Notre Dame coach

SOUTH BEND – A psychiatrist and a psychologist will examine former Notre Dame assistant football coach Corwin Brown to determine his mental status as he faces charges of striking his wife and holding her hostage in their home, a judge said Wednesday.

Corwin Brown’s family says they believe his actions last August leading to a seven-hour standoff with police at his home in Granger, northeast of South Bend, might stem from brain trauma he suffered when he was an NFL defensive back. He played for a total of eight seasons with the New England Patriots, the New York Jets and Detroit Lions and four years in college at Michigan.

Brown, 41, who is accused of bruising his wife and holding her hostage with a handgun, is charged with domestic battery and two counts of confinement.

St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller appointed two doctors who have not previously seen Brown during a brief hearing Wednesday and set a March 14 date for his next hearing. Brown’s attorney, William Stanley, has said Brown’s mental status on Aug. 12 is essential to his defense.

Stanley said Wednesday that his client is living in Chicago with his parents and undergoing counseling.

“He seems to be doing very well. Walking out, physically, he looks substantially better than his first time in court,” Stanley said.

Brown, who was accompanied to court by his wife, Melissa, and parents, had no comment, Stanley said.

A statement released by Brown’s family days after his arrest said Brown had become suspicious, distant, gloomy, exhausted and depressed. Melissa Brown told police her husband had been “acting irrational for some time,” but said things spiraled out of control on Aug. 12. Brown’s family has said they believe he may suffer from the same type of brain trauma as Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears and Notre Dame star who committed suicide in February.

Brown was defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 2007 until 2009, when he was fired along with head coach Charlie Weis and most of the rest of the staff. Brown coached defensive backs with the New England Patriots in 2010. He also previously was an assistant with the New York Jets and at the University of Virginia.