An attorney for a 23-year-old Lawrence man accused of robbing a Topeka bank in May says his client is mentally ill.
Defense attorney Thomas R. Telthorst wrote in a federal court motion that a psychiatrist has suggested that a brain scan of Paul Stewart Wade “may identify physiological causes of (Wade’s) aberrant behavior, such as a vascular disorder or a brain tumor.”
According to Telthorst’s federal court motion, Wade in the past six months has received care from several psychiatrists and one psychologist. The motion also said that in the weeks before the events that led to his arrest Wade was involuntarily committed to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., for stabilization and psychiatric care. He was later switched to voluntary hospitalization, which led to his discharge shortly before the alleged robbery.
Wade faces one federal count of bank robbery. Prosecutors allege that he robbed a U.S. Bank in Topeka on May 24 by passing a note to a teller that stated he had a gun, although the teller never saw a gun.
A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper arrested Wade hours later about 200 miles west of Topeka, in Ellis County on Interstate 70. Documents in the case allege authorities recovered a pillowcase containing money that matched evidence at the scene.
At the time of his arrest, Wade was a suspect in two Lawrence car-wash burglaries committed the night before the bank robbery. Wade was free on bond.
“(Two psychiatrists) agree that the defendant’s illness defies simple diagnosis, and that his illness likely will be relevant to the court’s understanding of his alleged crime,” Telthorst wrote.
Telthorst is asking a judge to delay pretrial hearings to allow him time for examinations and testing, which Wade’s family has agreed to pay for.