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Prosecutor resisting transfer to vets court

An Adams County prosecutor is refusing to entertain the idea of transferring an ex-soldier facing a felony charge to another court that specializes in veterans suffering from PTSD.

Tracy Heltz Noetzel, the county’s chief deputy prosecutor, said during a pretrial hearing on Tuesday that she is not willing to negotiate the transfer to another court unless Justin York withdraws his request for a speedy trial.

York, a 25-year-old Army veteran who was unable to continue serving due to an extreme rating for post traumatic stress disorder, is accused of resisting law enforcement with a weapon.

Police were called to his home in December after he and his mother argued. York had a handgun in his back pocket, which he pulled out and showed officers to be unloaded.

At one point, though, the officers, who had taken possession of the handgun, reported York turned toward them in an aggressive manner.

York was on the wrong end of a Taser shot and taken to Adams County Jail, where he has remained since.

As his case wound through the legal system, York said he begged Heltz Noetzel to let him transfer from Adams County Superior Court to Delaware County’s Veterans Court.

In that court, described as a problem-solving court, York can get treatment for PTSD. These types of courts have been popping up in other jurisdictions across the country.

Albert Anzini, York’s court-appointed lawyer, said during Tuesday’s hearing there are no plans to withdraw his client’s request for a speedy trial. York is scheduled to stand trial this month.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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