Archive for Sunday, August 22, 2004

Mental exam sought for suspect in KU graduate student’s slaying

August 22, 2004


— A suburban Kansas City teenager charged with fatally stabbing a social worker and wounding his mother should undergo a competency evaluation, his attorney said.

Andrew Ellmaker, 17, is being held as a juvenile on one count each of first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Prosecutors are seeking to have him tried as an adult.

Overland Park Police were called late Tuesday afternoon after Ellmaker's mother ran from the family's house calling for help. Inside they found the body of Teri Zenner, a Kansas University graduate student who worked for the Johnson County Mental Health Center. Zenner had been at the house for a regularly scheduled meeting with a client, prosecutors said.

The request from Ellmaker's attorney, Joseph Dioszeghy, that his client be evaluated to see if he is competent to stand trial will be taken up Tuesday at a hearing before Johnson County District Judge Brenda Cameron.

Ellmaker's mother is an attorney who formerly worked in the Johnson County prosecutor's office handling consumer matters.

Assistant Dist. Atty. John Fritz said last week that Ellmaker had "severe mental health issues."

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