- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A judge has ordered a psychological evaluation for a former U.S. Senate candidate in South Dakota who was indicted for election law violations.

Clayton Walker, of Black Hawk, ran as an independent last year but failed to make the November ballot.

He faces nine felony charges in connection with allegations that he submitted nominating petitions with the names of dead people, fictitious people and Hollywood celebrities.

Judge John Brown ordered the evaluation when Walker appeared in court Tuesday, the Capital Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1u7Obd7 ). Brown rejected Walker’s request to dismiss the case based on the length of time it is taking to get to trial.

Brown said Walker’s difficulties working with his lawyers are to blame for delays.

“It seems like I’ve run into this situation with every attorney I’ve appointed in this case,” the judge said.

Two attorneys have withdrawn from Walker’s case. Walker’s present attorney, Timothy Rensch, tried to withdraw on Tuesday. Rensch said in his motion that his relationship with Walker had been “irretrievably damaged.” He declined to elaborate in court, saying he did not want to damage Walker’s defense.

“I think rather than spelling everything out . I’ll just say I can’t work with him,” Rensch said.

Walker’s first two lawyers also said their relationships with Walker had been damaged beyond repair. Walker did not challenge either lawyer’s motions to withdraw, but he fought to keep Rensch, whom he said wanted to withdraw from the case because it had become “politicized.”

Brown ordered Rensch to continue on the case, saying he “simply can’t just keep appointing attorneys” for Walker.

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Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, http://www.capjournal.com

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