Chase suspect says he's unfit to stand trial

Baltimore man accused of stealing truck, leading police to Cecil County

September 16, 2000|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

The 36-year-old man charged with leading police on a chase from Baltimore to Cecil County in a stolen truck Monday is declaring that he is incompetent to stand trial, according to documents filed by his lawyer.

Gregory Michael Wallace's attorney, Assistant Public Defender John P. Whelan, has filed a motion in Cecil County District Court to compel a psychiatric exam for his client. A ruling has not been made on that request.

Whelan also filed paperwork Thursday saying Wallace is not criminally responsible for his actions, setting the stage for an insanity defense if a judge should rule that the suspect can understand the legal charges filed against him and can stand trial.

Wallace, of the 1700 block of Aisquith St. in East Baltimore, is being held without bail in the Cecil County Detention Center.

Whelan did not return calls to his office yesterday.

Police have charged Wallace with ramming a city patrol car in East Baltimore with a tractor-trailer cab and leading officers on a high-speed chase north on Interstate 95 to Rising Sun, stopping only after two cruisers were rammed and a state trooper shot out two of the truck's tires.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 11, but police said the case will most likely be presented to a grand jury to gain a felony indictment. That would pre-empt the need for a preliminary hearing, and the case would be set for trial in Circuit Court.

Wallace is charged with auto theft, two counts of attempted first-degree murder of police officers, possession of cocaine, driving while intoxicated and numerous traffic offenses.

According to court documents filed this week, Wallace told investigators that he started the chase and hit the police cars "because he was angry with the Baltimore City police officers that originally attempted to stop him" for allegedly running a red light.

Wallace had been released from prison six months earlier, after serving three years for stealing a truck in 1996 and leading police on a 250-mile chase on Maryland highways.

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