A Corvallis man will stand trial for assault and robbery after a psychologist determined he is mentally able to aid in his defense, his defense attorney said Tuesday.

A psychologist who evaluated Eric Leroy Patterson determined he is able to assist in his defense at trial, his lawyer Mike Flinn said. Flinn had asked for his client to be evaluated, citing concerns over Patterson’s ability to understand the court proceedings.

Patterson’s two day trial is set to begin Dec. 18 in Judge Locke Williams’ courtroom. Deputy District Attorney Andrew Jordan is prosecuting the case.

The alleged robbery and assault took place Sept. 26 outside the Benton County Courthouse, police have said. A witness told police she saw Patterson walking north on Northwest Fifth Street with a large wooden stick, according to police. The witness said Patterson hit the alleged victim, Tiffany Rice, five or six times with the stick, police said. The witness also told officers she saw Patterson tug at Rice’s purse and take it from her, according to police.

Patterson faces charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree disorderly conduct.

Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or lillian.schrock@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock. 

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