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Deputy Warden Says King Enjoyed Teaching at Prison - Oct 18, 1990 - Omaha World-Herald

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Deputy Warden Says King Enjoyed Teaching at Prison / David Thompson. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb.: Oct 18, 1990. pg. 19


Full Text (787 words)

(Copyright 1990 Omaha World-Herald Company)


Lawrence E. King Jr., top executive of the failed Franklin Credit Union, taught classes while he was held earlier this year at a federal prison medical center at Rochester, Minn., the prison's deputy warden and chief psychiatrist testified Thursday.


"He enjoyed doing it," Dr. Ruth Westrick-Connolly said by telephone from her office at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners.


She was a witness during a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Omaha to determine whether King is competent to stand trial on 40 criminal charges arising from the disappearance of $39 million from the treasury of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union.


Her testimony was taken by telephone from Rochester and broadcast over a speaker in the ninth-floor jury lounge at the Zorinsky Federal Building.


Dr. Westrick-Connolly said she had little contact with King during his stay at Rochester from April 5 to Aug. 29, although she did meet him briefly as she made her morning rounds of the forensic ward at the prison hospital.


Aware of Interest


The psychiatrist said she did not evaluate King or interview him at length.


She said, however, that she was aware of King's interest in teaching at the Rochester medical center. She did not say what he taught.


Dr. Westrick-Connolly said King volunteered to have books sent to the medical center to be used for teaching people with learning disabilities. She said that a few days later a package was delivered to the center from a friend of King's.


"I discussed it with the warden and he told me that it was not permissible," she said.


The books were then returned to the person who mailed them. Dr. Westrick-Connolly did not identify the person who mailed the books.


First Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Thalken asked the psychiatrist whether she concurred with a report on King's mental condition prepared by Dr. Carl Malmquist, a psychiatrist at the Rochester medical center.


She said her contact with King during his stay was so limited that she would not want to comment on Dr. Malmquist's report.


Diagnosis Differed


Dr. Malmquist, who testified in person at the competency hearing Wednesday, said he interviewed King on two separate occasions at the Rochester center.


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


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


Dr. Malmquist said he saw a different man.


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


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


He said that he had seen Dr. Dysart's report on King before he wrote his report, but he said 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 to more than 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 that 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


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.


At Rochester, King was a peaceful, contented patient, the psychiatrist said.


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.


Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer


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