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Murder suspect to be evaluated for competency

A preliminary hearing set for Ethan Dingman, who is charged with the murder of 55-year-old Todd Schwartz of Colon, didn’t occur Tuesday as scheduled, according to John McDonough, St. Joseph County prosecutor.

The case was adjourned and Dingman will be evaluated for competency to stand trial, McDonough said.

That evaluation is to take place at Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Grand Rapids, McDonough said.

Dingman’s next court appearance is tentatively set for March, when a preliminary hearing may resume.

Dingman, 19, was charged in the murder of Schwartz Nov. 21, after Schwartz’s body was found in a garage behind a home in the 200 block of South Blackstone Avenue.

Authorities believe the death was caused by blunt-force trauma to the head, though no murder weapon was found.

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