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'Just One More Delay' Schmit Says King's Tests Making Some Suspicious Attorney Receives Phlebitis Treatment - Feb 13, 1990 - Omaha World-Herald

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Feb 13, 1990 'Just One More Delay' Schmit Says King's Tests Making Some Suspicious Attorney Receives Phlebitis Treatment; [Metro Edition] Robert Dorr. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb. pg. 13

Full Text (471 words)
(Copyright 1990 Omaha World-Herald Company)

Two stories on one Basis Record.

State Sen. Loran Schmit said Tuesday his mail indicates that the public is "very suspicious" about the need for mental health testing of Lawrence E. King Jr., top executive of the failed Franklin Community Federal Credit Union.

Schmit, head of the Legislature's Franklin committee, said he and members of his staff have received more than 100 letters, phone calls and personal comments about the mental testing of King.

"People are very irate about it. They look at it as just one more delay. They think he's never going to trial," said Schmit, of Bellwood.

Won't Express Opinion

Schmit said he wouldn't express his opinion until he learns more.

Last Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Richard Kopf ordered King taken to the Federal Medical Facility in Springfield, Mo., to undergo mental evaluation. Doctors were asked to submit a report within 30 days.

Kopf's order gave no reason for the action. He has declined comment. Kopf ordered the evaluation under a federal law that allows such tests to determine whether a defendant in a criminal case understands the proceedings and can assist properly in his defense.

King's mental testing is continuing, Charles Peterson, executive assistant to the warden, said Tuesday from Springfield.

The evaluation includes interviews by psychiatrists and psychologists, a battery of mental health tests and observation, Peterson said last week.

One person close to the King case who spoke on condition of anonymity said earlier that King has been "extremely upset" in recent weeks.

'Doing Rather Well'

But King's pastor and his employer said King's behavior has not changed recently and, they said, he has been doing rather well considering the stress he is under.

Schmit said that some people have told him they have the same suspicions about the testing of King that they had about mental tests given television evangelist Jim Bakker last year.

Bakker was tested after a psychiatrist reported that Bakker was hallucinating and cowering in a fetal position in his lawyer's office. Later, Bakker was found guilty of fraud and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

King was indicted last May on 40 counts charging him with conspiracy, fraud and income tax evasion. He has pleaded innocent. He is to be tried along with his wife Alice starting June 4.

Attorney Receives Phlebitis Treatment WORLD-HERALD BUREAU Lincoln -John Stevens Berry, counsel to the Legislature's Franklin Community Federal Credit Union committee, was undergoing tests and receiving treatment for phlebitis at Lincoln General Hospital Tuesday.

Phlebitis is inflammation of a vein or veins.

"I'm doing just fine, feeling fine," Berry said from his hospital room. "I'm on the phone with my office two or three times a day. I'll be back in court next week."

Berry, who entered the hospital Monday, was listed in good condition, hospital spokeswoman Linda Sothan said.

Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer

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