CLOVERDALE — A woman accused of attacking an 84-year-old priest received a psychological evaluation following the incident, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Frances Wilhelm, 65, of Napoleon, is charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony that carries up to eight years in prison. She appeared at a bond hearing Tuesday in Putnam County Municipal Court, where bond was set at $250,000. She is now in the Putnam County jail.
Wilhelm has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday.
The Rev. Herman Scherger, of Cloverdale, has since been released from the hospital. He was treated for injuries, including cuts to his head from multiple hammer blows, officials said.
Putnam County Assistant Prosecutor Todd Schroeder said Scherger was returning to his home on state Route 114 near Cloverdale in the morning of Sept. 5 after holding a service. He noticed an unfamiliar car at his home and approached to see who it was.
Wilhelm then struck Scherger with the hammer, Schroeder said. Wilhelm was able to wrestle the hammer away from the woman, get away from her, and drive to a neighbor’s house, where he called 911.
Wilhelm also called 911, and deputies found her close to the scene shortly after the incident, Schroeder said.
A motive remained under investigation, but Wilhelm was sent away for a psychiatric evaluation and kept for several days before she was turned over to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office to be placed in jail, officials said.
Scherger, who runs the Domus Angelorum Retreat House, could not be reached for comment.