A judge ordered sealed on Tuesday a mental health evaluation that found an embattled New Hanover County Commissioner, arrested in Beech Mountain last month, incapable of aiding in his defense. As a result, Brian Berger 's probation violation hearing was continued until a second evaluation is conducted, and that will come next month. Star News Online said the evaluation calls into question Berger's "capacity to proceed," his attorney asking the judge to order a second opinion regarding Berger's mental health and to order him to get treatment should the need be found.
But the website said the defense opposed any admittance of Berger into a hospital. Robinson ordered Berger to remain in custody and set Aug. 26 as the tentative date for the probation violation hearing or a competency hearing. Berger, who is being held on a $300,000 bail, was arrested June 10th in Beech Mountain for allegedly absconding from probation on a DWI charge in New Hanover County. A new probation violation charge was filed against him after his arrest because police say he was found in possession of more than two dozen firearms belonging to Justin LaNasa, who owns the Beech Mountain home where Berger was staying alone. LaNasa claims the weapons were locked in a room that Berger breeched during his stay there. Additionally, Berger was also charged by Beech Mountain police with possession of a marijuana pipe. Hes been arrested four times since taking office in 2010, according to StarNews Online.
The freshman commissioner came to the attention of Beech Mountain police after officers were called to the area on a report of shots fired and spoke with Berger in the LaNasa home. The next day officers discovered the probation violation warrant from New Hanover County and went back and arrested him. Berger was on probation as part of a February plea agreement in New Hanover County for impaired driving. He received a 120-day suspended sentenced and was placed on probation for a year. When Berger failed to show up for a meeting with his probation officer, the warrant was issued June 9th.
- Written by Steve Frank