LACONIA — A competency hearing has been scheduled in the case of a reportedly distraught Laconia man who was arrested in May after police surrounded his condominium for several hours after being told the man shot off a firearm.
Hoon Nowack, 52, of Evergreens Drive, in Laconia, was indicted recently on a charge of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon.
Just prior to Nowack’s arrest on May 8 one of his children told police Nowack had been acting erratically and refusing treatment.
The hearing, scheduled for Thursday in Belknap Superior Court, is being held to determine if Nowack, a decorated combat veteran, is mentally competent to stand trial.
The courtroom will be closed to the public during the hearing, and court filings related to the hearing have been sealed.
As in any competency hearing, the issue before the court will be whether Nowack is able to understand what is happening in court proceedings and whether he can assist in his own defense against the charge he is facing.
After weighing the arguments by defense and prosecution attorneys and any testimony given during the hearing, the judge will rule whether Nowack is competent.
If he is judged competent then the case will continue like any other criminal case. If he is found be be incompetent, the judge will further determine whether Nowack can be restored to mental competency through therapy and/or medication, or if mental health treatment will not help him understand the charges against him.
Nowack, who has a record of service in both the Marines and the Army, including duty in Afghanistan, was inside his condominium off Weirs Boulevard for six hours on May 9 while police surrounded his residence. Police went to his residence after being told he had fired a weapon. The bullet went through a television and then through a window. Nowack surrendered after police injected teargas into the residence.
The indictment charges Nowack fired the shot in a densely populated residential complex off Weirs Boulevard. Nowack could be sentenced to 3½ to seven years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors will not say where Nowack is at this time. However, under conditions set by the court, once Nowack has completed a mental health evaluation at the State Hospital he could be released on his own recognizance in order to receive inpatient treatment at a Veterans Affairs facility.