Sanity evaluation ordered in attempted rape case

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WALLA WALLA — A sanity evaluation has been authorized for a man accused of trying to rape a woman at a local residence in November.

Brendan F. Nichols, 34, will undergo the evaluation by Philip G. Barnard, a clinical psychologist who practices in Richland.

Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann last week authorized the evaluation at the request of the defense. The cost — not to exceed $3,000 — will be paid by the county.

Nichols is set for trial Jan. 23 on the charge of second-degree attempted rape, in addition to charges of third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and two counts of harassment.

He allegedly tried to rape the woman about 10:15 p.m. Nov. 10 and struck a man — who tried to intervene — in the jaw.

Nichols is acquainted with both victims, officials said.

He also fought with responding officers, struck and scratched one officer and threatened to kill two of them, according to a police report filed in court.

Nichols — who allegedly admitted he had been using marijuana and cocaine — was booked into the County Jail after being restrained at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

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