The attorney for accused Ponzi mastermind R. Allen Stanford plans to call six doctors as well as Stanford's 81-year-old mother and his first defense attorney to testify at a hearing next week on whether he is competent to stand trial.
Stanford, 61, is accused of 14 criminal counts in an alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme. He has denied wrongdoing. His attorneys have argued Stanford suffers from amnesia as a result of a 2009 prison assault and his subsequent addiction to prescription drugs. Prosecutors allege Stanford is faking memory loss to avoid his trial scheduled for next month.
In court papers filed Friday, Stanford's court-appointed attorney, Ali Fazel, says he wants to call two neurologists, a neuropsychologist, a forensic psychiatrist, a medical doctor and a staff psychiatrist at the prison medical center in Butner, N.C., where Stanford recently completed nine months of treatment.
Four of the doctors are experts employed by the defense. The others are government witnesses that Stanford's team wants to cross-examine.
The medical center certified Stanford competent to stand trial, but it will be up to U.S. District Judge David Hittner to decide whether that is the case. The trial is scheduled to begin Jan, 23.
Also on the defense witness list for the competency hearing is Stanford's 81-year-old mother Sammie, and Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin, who withdrew as Stanford's defense attorney in 2009 when it became unclear if Stanford would be able to pay him.
Today's court filing offers no new clues as to what the witnesses might say, but Stanford's current legal team previously argued he is incapable of assisting in his own defense.
Prosecutors plan to call two doctors to testify that Stanford is competent, and they say in a court filing today that there is no need for the amount of testimony the defense is proposing.
Next week's competency hearing is crucial for the 28,000 investors in Stanford's alleged scam, because without a criminal trial and a verdict, most of their assets remain in limbo.