Summary:

Paragraph 5 reads:  "Toolan told state police at the time of his arrest that he was taking Zoloft, commonly used to treat depression and anxiety, Clonazepam, used to treat epilepsy, anxiety, panic attacks and other issues, and other medication. He also told police he drank more than four bottles of beer and some vodka, according to court records."

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070519/NEWS/705190319

Defense attorney goes to the motions in Toolan murder trial

By HILARY RUSS
STAFF WRITER
May 19, 2007

to June 4 trial date.

NANTUCKET ­ As this little island braces for its first murder trial in two decades, alleged killer Thomas Toolan III has been meeting with psychiatrists while his attorney filed a flurry of motions.

Toolan, a former Manhattan bank executive, is set to go on trial June 4 in Nantucket Superior Court for allegedly knifing and killing Elizabeth Lochtefeld in her island home after she broke off their short love affair in 2004.

After Lochtefeld's death, Toolan was arrested driving through Rhode Island. When he was pulled over, his speech was thick-tongued, and he showed signs of intoxication, according to court records.

His supposedly drunken, altered state is an element defense attorney Kevin Reddington will try to use to prove to jurors that if Toolan did the crime, he should not be held criminally responsible, according to a memorandum filed yesterday.

Toolan told state police at the time of his arrest that he was taking Zoloft, commonly used to treat depression and anxiety, Clonazepam, used to treat epilepsy, anxiety, panic attacks and other issues, and other medication. He also told police he drank more than four bottles of beer and some vodka, according to court records.

For months, Toolan has been meeting periodically with mental health experts, some of whom are expected to testify during the trial, in Barnstable Superior Court. Although the case is set to be tried on Nantucket, several hearings are being conducted in Barnstable for logistical reasons.

Reddington has already secured a promise of at least $5,000 in public funds to pay Dr. Ronald Ebert, a forensic psychologist with an eight-page resume, to examine Toolan. Two other doctors are on Reddington's list of experts, so costs could run into the tens of thousands, if the recent murder trial of Christopher McCowen is any gauge.

In that case, three separate experts were paid a total of at least $53,000 to examine McCowen, who was later convicted of raping and murdering Christa Worthington in Truro in 2002.

Reddington also filed several other requests yesterday on how he wants Judge Richard Connon to instruct jurors in the upcoming trial. Earlier this week, he requested that the jury be sequestered, a common move for a high-profile case in a small community.

Finally, Reddington filed another motion this week to review a full Federal Bureau of Investigations audit, as well as internal audits, of the state crime laboratory. The FBI began its probe after Robert Pino, a database administrator, was fired for allegedly mishandling the reporting of DNA matches from sexual assaults, according to published reports.

"They just keep coming up with more and more problems," Reddington said about the lab's DNA testing.

Connon will rule on all the motions at a later date.

Hilary Russ can be reached at hruss@capecodonline.com.