Lawrence man accused of murdering his 25-year-old wife is 101st in line for state hospital

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Chad Marek

A Lawrence man who is accused of killing his wife is waiting for a bed at Larned State Hospital after having been declared incompetent to stand trial, and his lawyer said Tuesday that 100 people were still in line before him.

Chad Joseph Marek, 27, is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing Regan Marek, 25, on May 16, 2022. Marek told a 911 dispatcher that God told him to kill her, according to police. Both the autopsy for Regan and the probable cause affidavit for Marek’s arrest have been sealed. However, Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart has said that Regan was dead when emergency crews arrived at the couple’s apartment and that her body had experienced a lot of physical trauma.

photo by: Contributed

This photo of Regan Gibbs was shared by her family.

Marek’s defense attorney, John Kerns, said that as of December Marek was listed as 101st in line and still had a long wait before being admitted into Larned. Judge Stacey Donovan set another status conference for May 2.

Marek appeared in court from the Douglas County Jail with shaggy hair and a beard and thanked the court.

“Thank you, Judge Stacey. May the lord bless you,” Marek said.

As the Journal-World reported, Marek was deemed incompetent in June 2022. He was listed as 169th in line for a bed at the hospital in October.

In June, Sara Godinez from Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, testified after performing a competency evaluation that she found that Marek could understand court procedures and that his thought processes were “meticulous and well thought out.” Godinez said that Marek was easy to communicate with during the evaluation but was prone to disruptions in which he would talk about his faith.

Marek wasn’t diagnosed with anything during the evaluation, but he has signs of a mental disorder connected to his religious outbursts, she said.

“Hyperreligiosity can be an indicator of several mental or physical illnesses,” Godinez said.

Between his religious outbursts and his inability to remember things in the short term, Marek would be unable to effectively collaborate with his attorney during a trial, Godinez said.

Marek has a history of domestic battery convictions in Leavenworth County between 2013 and 2019. In those cases he also faced questions about his competency to stand trial and spent a few months in Larned State Hospital in 2014 and was eventually deemed competent.

The majority of the charges against Marek were for unlawful contact with his immediate family members, including his grandfather, father, mother and two victims who were 16 at the time of the incidents. He was repeatedly given probation for his crimes.

Marek’s proclivity for sharing his religious views is familiar to many in the Lawrence community. Before he was charged in the murder case, Marek appeared frequently in downtown Lawrence evangelizing with a bullhorn and playing keyboard and guitar. He has posted videos online decrying COVID-19 vaccines as the “spirit of the Anti-Christ” and saying “Wake up Lawrence, they are coming for your children. The LGBTQ agenda is coming for your children.”

Regan, originally from Washington state, was a former goalkeeper for the University of Kansas soccer team. Her mother, Kristin Gibbs, said during a news conference in Lawrence shortly after Regan’s death that Marek coerced her daughter into a relationship and manipulated her using religion.

photo by: Lily O’Shea Becker

Kristin Gibbs, left, and her daughters Ashlyn, Madelyn, Erin and Kearan Gibbs spoke Friday, May 20, 2022, about their daughter and sister, Regan Gibbs, at a news conference at Lawrence Police Department Headquarters. Regan was killed early this week, and her significant other, Chad Marek, is facing first-degree murder charges.

The Lawrence Police Department has confirmed that Chad Marek and Regan were married, but during the news conference Regan’s mother said that the two were not officially married. Douglas County court records indicate that the two had filed for a marriage license in November and it was processed and returned in January. Both Regan and Marek posted on Facebook that they were married on Nov. 24, 2021.

Marek is currently being held at the Douglas County Jail on a $1 million bond.


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