Traverse City Record-Eagle

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September 15, 2010

Deputy to undergo psychiatric evaluation

TRAVERSE CITY — A suspended Grand Traverse Sheriff's deputy charged with assault will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Kipp Needham is charged with assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer causing injury, possessing a firearm while intoxicated and two counts of domestic violence.

Judge Philip E. Rodgers on Tuesday ordered Needham to undergo the evaluation, Prosecutor Alan Schneider said. Criminal proceedings will move forward when the evaluation is complete.

Needham allegedly assaulted his wife and daughter at his Acme Township home June 1, then scuffled with Michigan State Police troopers who responded to the scene. He allegedly choked and hit a trooper during the struggle.

Needham is a 12-year employee of the sheriff's department and its 2007 employee of the year. Grand Traverse Sheriff Tom Bensley suspended him without pay pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.

Needham is free on bond.

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