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Archive for Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mental evaluation for suspect sought

Prosecutors have asked a judge to order a mental competency evaluation for a Lawrence robbery and kidnapping suspect.

April 28, 2009

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Prosecutors are asking a judge to order a Lawrence kidnapping and robbery suspect undergo a mental competency evaluation.

If ordered, 43-year-old Donald Bartsma would be sent to Larned State Hospital, where a mental health expert would determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors accuse Bartsma of kidnapping a 24-year-old Lawrence woman at knifepoint on Feb. 13, 2008, from the Kohl’s parking lot, 3234 Iowa, and forcing her to withdraw money from her nearby bank.

Bartsma was convicted in Missouri for a similar crime for trying to rob a woman in a Kansas City, Mo., shopping center parking lot, just hours after the Lawrence incident. He then led police on a high-speed chase. He received a 25-year prison sentence there, according to Missouri prison records.

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