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Judge considering health concerns of terror suspect
Thomas accused of plotting attacks against the government
0310MILITIAFrederick Thomas
Frederick Thomas

A federal judge has set an April 10 court hearing to consider claims that a terror plot suspect's physical and mental health are continuing to deteriorate.

Jeffrey Ertel, a lawyer for 73-year-old Frederick Thomas of Cleveland, says in court papers filed in February that he has observed a deterioration of his client's mental status, which could lead to mental competency issues.

He's asking the judge to consider conditions of his detention and allow a bond for Thomas.

Thomas and three other North Georgia men were arrested in early November. Thomas is charged with conspiring to obtain an explosive and possessing an unregistered silencer.

Prosecutors say Thomas talked about targeting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney and scouted two federal buildings in Atlanta for possible attacks.

Thomas' wife, Charlotte, has 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 told The Times in February. "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.

During the bond hearing in November, 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.