Summary:

Paragraphs 12 through 16 read:  "The report says Hollister began experiencing  'depressive symptoms,' including severe insomnia, in the summer of 2008. Financial stress, health problems and a relative’s purported involvement with a cult contributed to his depression, the report says."

“Hollister reportedly became paranoid about others, whom he believed were ‘plotting’ against him,” the report says.  'He also experienced suicidal ideation during that time period'.”

"Hollister sought help from several medical professionals and was prescribed medicine for depression and insomnia."

"On Nov. 3, Hollister called 911, saying his wife was dead and a knife was beside her."

SSRI Stories note: Paranoia is listed as an Infrequent side-effect  [but not listed as Rare] in the Physicians Desk Reference for medications for depression.  A person with paranoia should almost never be given an antidepressant.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20091031/NEWS01/710319900/-1/FRONTPAGE

Published Saturday October 31, 2009


Man competent for trial in wife’s death

By Todd Cooper
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

His mental state now stabilized through medication, Robert T. Hollister has been ruled competent to stand trial in the stabbing death of his wife, Jeanie “Ellie” Hollister.

What doctors haven’t determined is whether the Omaha man was sane at the time of his wife’s death on Nov. 3, 2008.

In a recent court document, Lincoln Regional Center doctors said they needed more time to make that determination. Hollister has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to first-degree murder.

“Mr. Hollister is competent to stand trial,” the regional center report says. “Further evaluation is necessary before an opinion can be offered regarding Mr. Hollister’s mental status at the time of the offense.”

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine acknowledged the rarity of regional center doctors requesting more time for evaluation because they haven’t reached a consensus regarding a defendant’s mental state at the time of a crime.

He said a defendant isn’t necessarily insane just because he has been battling mental illness. However, he said, attorneys will have to wait for the further evaluation before deciding how to proceed.

With insanity defenses, the burden shifts to defense attorneys to prove that their client was insane at the time of the killing. It will be up to Douglas County District Judge Marlon Polk to weigh any testimony about Hollister’s mental state.

If the judge concludes that Hollister was insane, he most likely would be committed indefinitely to the regional center. If the judge determines that Hollister was sane, he would proceed to trial and, if convicted, face life in prison.

The initial regional center report by psychiatrist Klaus Hartmann and psychologist Mario Scalora shows that Hollister, 59, had been battling depression for several months before the death of his wife.

Hollister, who has no criminal record, has a master’s degree in human resources and was employed at Omaha Bedding Co. from 1994 to 2007.

He then worked at his wife’s vintage clothing store, “Weird Wild Stuff,” from 2007 until the time of her death.

The report says Hollister began experiencing “depressive symptoms,” including severe insomnia, in the summer of 2008. Financial stress, health problems and a relative’s purported involvement with a cult contributed to his depression, the report says.

“Hollister reportedly became paranoid about others, whom he believed were ‘plotting’ against him,” the report says. “He also experienced suicidal ideation during that time period.”

Hollister sought help from several medical professionals and was prescribed medicine for depression and insomnia.

On Nov. 3, Hollister called 911, saying his wife was dead and a knife was beside her.

Police found Ellie Hollister dead in the couple’s home at 4705 N. 111th Circle.

Detectives found evidence that Ellie Hollister, 52, tried to fight off her husband, including scratch marks on Robert Hollister’s face. Hollister told regional center doctors he had “memory lapses related to the alleged offense.”

“Hollister demonstrated a desire for justice,” the report says, “rather than undeserved punishment.”

Contact the writer:

444-1275, todd.cooper@owh.com