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Attorneys question murder suspect's mental status


Adrien Graham Wallace will undergo examinations

Adrien Graham Wallace, accused of murdering his mother and his nephew in Lake Oswego last summer, has become increasingly paranoid in recent weeks and is no longer cooperating with his defense team, his attorneys said last week.Wallace

While Wallace, 42, recently seemed able to aid and assist lawyers working on his case, circumstances changed within the past couple of weeks, attorney David Falls told Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey S. Jones on Aug. 8.

“I believe that Mr. Wallace is actively psychotic at this time,” Falls said. “He is incorporating the defense team members into part of his psychosis.”

Wallace is accused of shooting and killing his mother, 71-year-old Saundra Sue Wallace, and nephew, 16-year-old Nicolas Brian Juarez, who was visiting from California. The incident took place in the evening on June 4, 2012, in the driveway of a house on Indian Springs Circle, where Adrien Wallace and his mother lived. He has been held on aggravated murder charges in Clackamas County Jail for the past year.

Last week, a single sheriff’s deputy escorted Wallace to the courtroom, where he sat in the jury box instead of with his legal team. He didn’t speak during the hearing.

Falls said Wallace has undergone “continual” exams during his time in jail and has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. It was during or after a recent evaluation by the prosecution’s psychiatrist that some problems surfaced, he said.

“He lacks trust in his defense at this point in time,” Falls said. “His paranoia has increased to the point where he is actively psychotic.”

To better evaluate Wallace’s present mental condition, experts from both sides will re-examine him to determine whether he might need treatment before the legal process can continue. If he isn’t able to aid and assist in his own defense, the court could commit him to the Oregon State Hospital for an evaluation and possible treatment; in that case, proceedings could resume once his competence was restored.

The judge will consider the psychiatrists’ evaluations at an upcoming hearing.

Jones could also weigh in then on a motion from defense attorneys to suppress thousands of pages of writing taken off of Wallace’s personal computer, which was seized from his house last year. Greg Horner, county chief deputy district attorney, described the writing as “fictionalized accounts, storytelling, fantasies.”

In addition, Jones will consider a request from prosecutors for medical information contained in jail records.

The hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22. Wallace’s trial remains set for Oct. 1.

Related coverage:

'Wallace to plead guilty but insane'

'Miranda warnings at issue in murder case'