LIMA — Scott Catlett, the one-time co-director of Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Lima, appeared in an Allen County courtroom Wednesday prepared to receive what was expected to be a lengthy prison sentence on a charge of kidnapping.
He left the courtroom some 20 minutes later on a gurney, carried out by paramedics after suffering visible signs of physical distress halfway through the hearing. Catlett was taken to a local hospital after the medical experts who were called to the court determined “the likely need for treatment for the defendant,” Judge David Cheney told more than a dozen of Catlett’s family and friends when court resumed briefly.
The judge said the sentencing hearing would be rescheduled “depending upon Mr. Catlett’s condition.”
The courtroom was cleared as medics attended to the defendant.
Catlett, 59, in October agreed to a negotiated agreement with prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to kidnapping, a first-degree felony, in exchange for the state’s dismissal of remaining charges of rape and assault. His possible sentence ranges from no jail time up to 11 years behind bars as well as a possible fine of up to $20,000, along with mandatory postrelease control and probation.
The charges stem from allegations that Catlett beat and detained Patrick Deal, a Lima man he believed had stolen items from his residence at 707 N. Jefferson St. The victim also told police he had been sexually abused during the encounter.
As Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Terri Kohlreiser made her sentencing recommendation to the court during Wednesday’s hearing, a court employee alerted Cheney that she suspected the defendant was experiencing physical difficulties. Catlett appeared pale and disoriented, with eyes glazed and his head bowed.
He appeared alert some 30 minutes later as he was taken from the courtroom for further observation.
During previous court proceedings, Kohlreiser said Catlett had “largely confessed” to allegations that he detained, punched and strangled Deal with a belt — knocking the victim into unconsciousness.
She said Catlett then drug the victim into the basement of the home, bound him with duct tape and kept him in the home for hours, “threatening to break his legs and telling him he had six bullets left in his gun and demanding to know where his stuff was.” The victim also made allegations of rape to authorities, although Catlett’s attorney denied those allegations.
Catlett had been the co-director of the soup kitchen since April 2015 after former director Stephen Jenkins was dismissed. He had previously been the site manager at the soup kitchen for six years. He is the son of former Lima Police Chief Frank Catlett, a connection made by his attorney during preliminary hearings as proof that he was not a flight risk.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.