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Rockport Man Says He's Too Sick To Stand Trial

A former Rockport EMT facing several weapons charges after police in 2009 found a cache of firearms including a rocket launcher and tear gas launcher in his apartment says he's too sick to stand trial.

James Atkinson appeared Thursday in Salem Superior Court for a competency hearing carrying a medical device and wearing what appeared to be an oxygen tube.

The judge said in court that the 52-year-old Atkinson's doctor believes that the "ardor" of a trial would cause him to "suffer life-threatening complications."

The exact nature of Atkinson's medical issues was not revealed.

The Gloucester Daily Times reports that the judge gave prosecutors extra time to decide whether they will seek to have their own medical expert examine Atkinson.

Atkinson has made several efforts to have charges dismissed.

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