Lawyer seeks Wash man's removal from meds

Nov. 9, 2002 at 4:13 PM
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SEATTLE, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The lawyer for a transient accused of murdering an elderly Seattle-area woman will next week ask a Washington state appeals court to hear his request that his client be temporarily taken off his psychiatric medication.

A King County Superior Court judge Friday turned down the request aimed at allowing Robert Ladson Gregory to slip back to the mental state he was in when he allegedly intentionally struck 75-year-old Kathleen Ryan with a car more than two years ago.

Gregory's lawyer, James Conroy, argued that the jury in the upcoming trial should be allowed to see his client as he was when Ryan was killed and not in the more lucid state he is in today.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said Saturday an affidavit from psychiatrist Dr. Mark McClung stated that removing Gregory from his medication on a temporary basis would give McClung "better access to the more florid psychotic thought processes that may have been present during his offenses."

King County prosecutors, however, are against the idea of coaxing Gregory's demons back to the surface.

"I view this as little more than a misguided experiment that will shed little light on Mr. Gregory's mental state," deputy prosecutor Steve Fogg said.

Gregory, who is charged with second-degree murder, has been in and out of mental institutions for several years and has a past criminal record of assaults on women in downtown Seattle. He was sent to jail in 1992 for breaking into the home of Ann Wilson, a member of the rock group Heart, and sitting down at her kitchen table to drink a beer.

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