Former NFL player in hostage standoff claims mental defect

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Former Notre Dame assistant coach Corwin Brown officially notified a judge Wednesday that he plans to defend himself against charges of striking his wife and holding her hostage by claiming he has a mental defect caused by brain injuries he sustained while playing football in the NFL and college.

Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller set a Jan. 11 hearing date for Brown's attorney and prosecutors to identify possible doctors to evaluate Brown's mental status. Defense attorney William Stanley wouldn't elaborate when asked by reporters what mental problems Brown is suffering from.

Brown, 41, was taken from his home Aug. 12 with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a seven-hour standoff with police in Granger, just northeast of South Bend.

A statement released by Brown's family four days after the standoff apologized for the disturbance and thanked authorities for saving Brown's life. The statement also said the family believes Brown may suffer from the same type of brain trauma as Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears and Notre Dame star who committed suicide in February. The statement said Brown had become suspicious, distant, gloomy, exhausted and depressed after playing eight seasons in the NFL as a defensive back for the Patriots, the New York Jets and Detroit Lions and playing in college at Michigan.

Brown ignored reporters' requests for comment outside the courtroom on Wednesday. He was defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 2007-2009, losing his job when coach Charlie Weis was fired and then coaching for the New England Patriots for a season.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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