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Mental evaluation for Clarett

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Maurice Clarett was ordered to have a mental health evaluation following a bizarre and violent encounter with police in which the former Ohio State football star was caught with four guns after a highway chase.

The judge delayed a trial set to begin Monday on previous charges in which the player is accused of holding up two people outside a bar on New Year's Day.

Judge David Fais ordered the evaluation against the wishes of Clarett and his attorneys, citing the events surrounding the arrest early Wednesday.

"I clearly understand everything and I don't know why we have to drag this thing out," said Clarett, who scoffed, smiled and rolled his head back when Fais announced his ruling.

Clarett, who wrote a few notes to his attorney while his hands were cuffed, said he was ready to go to trial. His girlfriend, who gave birth to the couple's daughter last month, and his mother sat in the courtroom. They declined comment outside.

Fais said he was concerned by Clarett's attorneys saying in published reports that they were worried about his mental health.

"It's my job. I have to ensure that your rights are protected," Fais said.

Prosecutors supported the decision for the evaluation. Defense attorneys twice objected, saying they were confident Clarett was competent to stand trial.

"We do not wish to see these proceedings continue at all," attorney Michael Hoague told the judge.

The evaluation could have been done over the weekend to avoid delaying the trial, Hoague said afterward.

"Instead of having the possibility of being acquitted this time next week, he'll be in jail," he said.

Fais also revoked Clarett's $1.1 million bond on the charges, meaning that Clarett figures to remain in jail until the new trial date of Sept. 18.