Attorneys for both sides are asking a federal judge to declare Guy Neighbors, an owner of the former Yellow House Store in Lawrence, mentally competent to stand trial in the three cases he faces.
According to a joint motion filed by the prosecution and defense, the request comes after a second psychiatrist, Dr. John H. Wisner at Kansas University Hospital, evaluated Neighbors and “took exception” to findings by Dr. Robert Lucking, a psychiatrist at the Bureau of Prisons Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., that Neighbors was not competent to stand trial. Wisner found that Neighbors does not suffer from a mental disease or defect which affects or diminishes his ability to understand charges against him or to assist in his own defense.
Neighbors, 53, earlier this year won an appeal over a similar issue when a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals panel sent his case back to U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia’s court and ruled Murguia needed to hold a formal hearing supported by U.S. Supreme Court precedent to be able to give an order to involuntarily medicate Neighbors.
In the main case against Neighbors, federal prosecutors accuse him of selling stolen goods, mostly on eBay, from the former secondhand store, 1904 Mass. His wife, Carrie Neighbors, 50, in January was sentenced to serve eight years in prison after a jury in 2010 convicted her in the case. She is appealing that verdict.
Attorneys now are asking Murguia on Monday to instead schedule a trial for Guy Neighbors in the case.