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Mental-health troubles cited in request to postpone gun trial


Trial may be postponed this afternoon for a Lawrence man facing gun charges in connection with the unsolved killing of a local hip-hop artist.Jury selection was set to begin this afternoon for Major C. Edwards, Jr., 27, on charges that he illegally possessed guns and ammunition despite a felony conviction for dealing cocaine. But Edwards' attorney filed a motion Monday saying that he hasn't yet been able to review all the government's evidence with his client- in part, he wrote, because prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office don't allow defendants to make their own copy of police reports.Defense attorney Phillip R. Gibson also wrote that Edwards has not been able to take his medication prescribed for bipolar disorder since he was arrested last fall. He asked that Edwards be "appropriately medicated" while in custody."Both Defendant and counsel have believed that the Defendant was 'coping ' well without his medication, but as the trial date approaches and Defendant's level of stress and anxiety increases, his behavior and thought processes have become demonstrably more erratic," Gibson wrote.A decision will be made this afternoon in court on whether the trial will be postponed.Edwards, who is barred from having a gun because of a felony conviction for selling cocaine, was arrested on gun charges as Douglas County sheriff's deputies and Lawrence police investigated the killing of Anthony J. Vital, who was found shot to death Oct. 15 in a field west of Lawrence along U.S. Highway 40. Deputies have said Edwards is a person of interest in the case, but he is not charged with the shooting.Read more about the case [here][1].-contributed by [Eric Weslander.][2] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/crime/murder/anthony_vital/ [2]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander


Sheila Couchman 11 years, 4 months ago

Always a mental defect excuse for everything around here! Sheesh... my husband would joke that he has a mental problem...he married a blonde! Wonder how long it will be before criminals will blame their significant others for their crimes and call it mental illness??

costello 11 years, 4 months ago

Where's the "mental defect excuse"?

The article says the attorney filed a motion asking the court for more time, because he hasn't reviewed all the evidence.

In addition, he asks that his client be "'appropriately medicated' while in custody."

What's wrong with being appropriately medicated for an illness? The article doesn't say he's blaming his mental illness for the crime - or for anything else. It just says that up until now he's been able to cope without his meds. Now that the stress level has gone up, he needs to be medicated.

feeble 11 years, 4 months ago

Better to grant the defense their request for delay and have the defendant appropriately medicated than to have the trial tossed out on appeal due to some proceedural error

Sexygirl 11 years, 3 months ago

I know Major Edwards very well and I don't think he pulled the trigger. He is a very good guy.

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