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Attorney urges quick ruling for militia suspect

Motion claims declining health is affecting mental status of 73-year-old Thomas

POSTED: February 8, 2012 2:07 p.m.

The wife of a 73-year-old Cleveland man incarcerated since early November on charges of conspiring to attack government buildings and employees is concerned her husband is not receiving the care he needs.

Frederick Thomas, along with three other Northeast Georgia men, has been locked up in the Hall County Jail after being denied bond by Magistrate Judge Susan S. Cole. Prosecutors describe Thomas as the mastermind in the alleged plot to buy explosives and kill government employees.

Thomas, along with Emory Dan Roberts, 67, of Toccoa, is charged with conspiring to obtain explosives and possessing an unregistered silencer. The maximum combined sentence for those charges is 15 years.

Jeffrey Ertel, attorney representing Thomas, appealed the bond decision in late November and on Tuesday filed a motion to expedite the appeal hearing.

In a court document, Ertel wrote Davis' slew of medical conditions have "continued to deteriorate" and fears his "mental status ... if continued unabated ... could lead to competency issues."

Thomas' wife, Charlotte, said her husband has continued to lose weight from his already feeble frame and has had breathing issues, a condition he had prior to his arrest that requires the use of a nebulizer.

The list of Frederick Thomas' many health concerns include emphysema, failing kidneys, high cholesterol and blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, Charlotte Thomas said.

She said jail officials have allowed her husband to keep his medications within the cell, but he still lacks proper exercise and a healthy diet.

"It's extremely important to get him out of there as fast as we can and at home where he can see his doctors and have healthy food," Charlotte Thomas said. "How much longer is this going to take? He's been in jail since the first of November."

Ertel argues Frederick Thomas' health conditions would not allow him to carry out the attacks he is accused of plotting and that his history of being a law-abiding citizen and past military veteran should factor into the court's bond decision.

"Mr. Thomas contends his medical condition along with his long-standing law-abiding personal history indicate he is not a danger to the community," Ertel stated in the appeal.

Also charged in the plot are Samuel Crump, 68, and Ray Adams, 55, both of Toccoa. They face counts of conspiring and attempting to produce the biological toxin, ricin.

During the bond hearing, Cole determined the defendants did more than just boast and instead took concrete steps toward following through with their plans.

"These defendants have shown a lack of concern towards killing government employees and citizens," Cole said.

Following the bond hearing, attorneys representing each defendant indicated they planned to appeal the decision. However, only attorneys representing Frederick Thomas and Crump have filed appeals.

 



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