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King Viewed Differently By 2 Doctors - Oct 18, 1990 - Omaha World-Herald

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King Viewed Differently By 2 Doctors; [Sunrise Edition]

David Thompson. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb.: Oct 18, 1990. pg. 19


Full Text (1083 words)

(Copyright 1990 Omaha World-Herald Company)


Psychiatrists from two federal prison hospitals disagreed during a court hearing Wednesday in their diagnoses of former Franklin credit union executive Lawrence E. King Jr.


King was diagnosed in February as having a delusional paranoid disorder, grandiose type, by Dr. Dorsey Dysart, then the chief psychiatrist at the U.S. Medical Center in Springfield, Mo.


Dr. Carl Malmquist, psychiatrist at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Rochester, Minn., who interviewed King on two separate occasions, said he saw a different man.


Questioned by one of King's attorneys, Alan Stoler, Dr. Malmquist said, "I didn't mean that literally. But when I was seeing him, I wasn't seeing a delusional man."


Dr. Malmquist followed Dr. Dysart to the witness stand Wednesday during a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Richard Kopf to determine whether King is competent to stand trial on 40 counts of conspiracy, fraud and federal income tax violations.


'Disorganized' Thoughts


Dr. Dysart, who now has a psychiatric practice in the Kansas City area and in Springfield, said that after an hour of interviewing, King's thoughts became "disorganized." That later led him to his diagnosis, he said.


Dr. Dysart said he interviewed King about six times during King's monthlong stay at Springfield. One of the interviews - the one during which King became disorganized - was "lengthy" and the others were 10 to 20 minutes each, the psychiatrist said.


He testified that during the lengthy interview, King's statements "continued to escalate in grandiosity" after the first hour.


In addition to the delusional disorder, Dr. Dysart said King might have a possible alcohol dependence.


Dr. Malmquist was the author of a report from the Rochester medical center which said King would be able to assist in his defense on the criminal charges.


He said that he had seen Dr. Dysart's report on King before he wrote his report but that he did not know how Dr. Dysart had reached his conclusions about King's delusional disorder.


Personality Disorder


Defense attorney Steven Achelpohl asked Dr. Malmquist whether he thought King was suffering from a borderline personality disorder.


"I wouldn't say 'suffering,' but, yes," Dr. Malmquist said.


He said King exhibited a pattern of "idealizing certain people, and then he felt they had betrayed him."


Dr. Malmquist said King also may have been impulsive - for example, his eating habits caused his weight to rise over 300 pounds. He also showed some mood swings, the psychiatrist said.


Dr. Malmquist said he did not find other indicators of disorders, such as intense anger, suicidal tendencies or boredom.


He said in addition to two interviews, one of three hours in June, the other of 2 1/2 hours in August, he consulted with other members of the Rochester staff to reach his conclusions about King.


He said that to his knowledge, King was not treated for a delusional disorder while at Rochester.


"Is it possible that the delusional disorder might have been in remission at Rochester?" asked Alan Stoler, one of King's defense attorneys.


"Sure, that would be possible," the psychiatrist replied.


Stress of Trial


Earlier, Dr. Dysart said the delusional disorder has "a waxing and waning quality, and it may disappear from time to time.


Dr. Dysart said under questioning by defense attorneys that the stress of a trial "theoretically" might bring a return of King's delusional disorder. He said it might take a trial to find out whether King is able to assist in his defense.


Dr. Malmquist said he saw the observation about a possible alcohol dependence problem in the Springfield report, and King told him he would drink, sometimes too much, when he went out with friends.


"He denied having an alcohol problem ," Dr. Malmquist said.


While he was at Rochester - from April 5 to Aug. 29 - he was a peaceful, contented patient, the psychiatrist said.


He was talkative and outgoing, somewhat different from some others at the medical center, Dr. Malmquist said. At one point, he said, King volunteered to teach other patients. Dr. Malmquist did not say what King offered to teach.


King exaggerated his formal education, and the psychiatrist said he knew information that King gave him "didn't square with that we found" from other sources.


Tests showed King had an IQ of 113, Dr. Malmquist said.


Procedures Discussed


The first witness did not take the stand until an hour after the competency hearing was scheduled to start.


Kopf met in his office with defense and prosecution attorneys and a lawyer representing The World-Herald and television station KETV, apparently to discuss procedures in the hearing.


Defense attorneys asked earlier this month that the hearing be closed, and federal prosecutors and an attorney for the newspaper and television station objected.


Kopf rejected the closure request but set certain conditions for conducting the hearing to allow defense attorneys to make some arguments and obtain testimony outside the presence of the public.


On one occasion, Kopf recessed for 10 minutes so defense attorney Stoler could ask Dr. Malmquist questions about advice that King received from his other defense attorneys, Steven Achelpohl and Marilyn Abbott.


The questions were asked outside the hearing of others in the courtroom, including the prosecutor.


Achelpohl and Ms. Abbott are King's court-appointed criminal defense attorneys. Stoler, also court-appointed, represents King's expressed personal interests, which may be different from those represented by Achelpohl and Ms. Abbott.


Stoler was appointed when King earlier this year resisted efforts of Achelpohl and Ms. Abbott to have him declared incompetent because they said he was unable to help them prepare for trial.


Prosecutor Objects


Stoler said the testimony might reveal certain defense strategy and would interfere with King's right to a fair trial. He asked that the prosecution, the press and public be excluded from the session.


First Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Thalken, the chief federal prosecutor, said he objected "strenuously" to the closure request.


King's attorneys have "a laundry list of defenses," and they wanted to hide some of their inquiries of Dr. Malmquist under that list, Thalken said.


Attorney Michael Cox, representing The World-Herald and KETV, did not object.


Kopf overruled Thalken's objection and met for eight minutes in his office with King and his defense attorneys.


Earlier in the hearing, both defense and prosecuting attorneys met privately with Kopf in his office to discuss an objection Stoler made to admission of King's medical records from Springfield as evidence.


After a five-minute session, the magistrate and attorneys returned to the courtroom and Kopf overruled the objection.


The hearing will resume at 10 a.m. today.



Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer


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