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UNITED STATES v. GREGORY TOWNS

June 11, 1998

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
GREGORY TOWNS, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SKRETNY

DECISION AND ORDER

 INTRODUCTION

 The parties' motions in limine are before this Court. Defendant Gregory Towns is charged with one count of attempted bank robbery. Trial will commence with jury selection on Monday, June 15, 1998.

 The government has moved to exclude expert testimony offered to negate mens rea. Should this Court deny the request for exclusion, the government asks in the alternative that any expert testimony be limited. Towns opposes the government's motion, and he has asked for a ruling in advance of trial which would allow him to introduce the evidence that the government seeks to exclude. This Court heard oral argument on the motions on June 2, 1998.

 BACKGROUND

 The government alleges that on February 19, 1997, Towns entered a downtown Buffalo bank and handed a teller a note that demanded $ 275 and threatened to kill her. He was immediately taken into custody, where he made a number of incriminating statements, including the admission that he meant to rob the bank.

 Towns contends that he never intended to rob the bank. He is prepared to elicit expert testimony that he suffers from a combination of schizoaffective disorder, borderline intellectual functioning, and alcohol dependency. Towns himself plans to testify that he entered the bank with the intent to get arrested in order to get psychiatric care.

 Both sides filed motions in limine prior to the final pretrial conference. Each side requested various forms of relief, many of which related to the Defendant's intention to provide expert evidence of his intent on the day in question.

 The government has moved for the following relief in limine1

 
1. An order precluding the Defendant's expert from testifying;
 
2. If the Defendant's expert will be permitted to testify, a ruling limiting his testimony to exclude: a) discussion on associated disorders or characteristics Towns did not have at the time of the alleged offense, and b) testimony from the expert on intent as a surrogate for Towns's testimony; and
 
3. If the Defendant's expert will be permitted to testify, an order pursuant to Rule 705 of the Federal Rules of Evidence that the Defendant disclose all of the information upon which the expert's opinion is based.

 The motion in limine filed by Towns requests:

 
1. A ruling allowing Towns to present expert testimony relating to his mental condition on February 19, 1997; and
 
2. A ruling allowing Towns to present expert testimony that he did not intend to commit the crimes charged.

 The expert Towns intends to call at trial is Dr. Michael William Stott, a clinical psychologist. In support of his motion, Towns included a proffer of Dr. Stott's ...


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