Kansas City, Kan. During a brief hearing Monday afternoon, a federal judge declared Carrie Neighbors, an owner of the Yellow House Store in Lawrence, competent to stand trial in three cases she faces.
U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia made the ruling after Neighbors had undergone a recent psychological examination. Murguia ordered the psychologist’s report remain sealed.
Neighbors and her husband, Guy Neighbors, face charges in three separate cases. In the main one, they are accused of selling stolen goods from their secondhand store, 1904 Mass., and face 19 charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in the 2007 case.
In the other two pending cases, prosecutors accuse them of manufacturing marijuana and obstructing a theft investigation.
Guy and Carrie Neighbors have maintained their innocence and, until last year, they frequently used Internet blogs to criticize federal prosecutors and Lawrence police officers.
Prosecutors have repeatedly said many of the defendants’ allegations are false and are meant to intimidate witnesses.
In May, a federal magistrate judge revoked Guy Neighbors’ bond and ruled he posed a threat of “continued criminal defamation of government counsel and witnesses” for an April 22 e-mail he sent that accused prosecutors and police of corruption. Earlier, the couple had reached an agreement with the judge not to discuss the case publicly.
Federal prosecutors had asked for psychological examinations of both defendants earlier this year to determine whether the couple would be able to assist in their own defense.
During a hearing Tuesday morning, Murguia is scheduled to rule whether Guy Neighbors is competent to stand trial.