A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge yesterday scheduled four days of time next month in which eight doctors will debate the mental competency of Edward Thomas Mann, accused of murdering three people and assaulting 23 others during a shootout last May at the Bethesda offices of IBM.
Mann, who has signed a guilty plea to all of the charges, objected to the planned mental competency hearings and insisted that Judge William C. Miller accept his plea of guilty.
"A hearing is not necessary in view of the competency report from Clifford T. Perkins state hospital ," Mann told the judge. A team of eight psychiatrists and psychologists examined Mann at the hospital last month. Five of the doctors concluded that Mann was mentally fit to stand trial, while three found he was not, but all of them agreed that Mann was mentally ill.
Despite Mann's request at yesterday's status hearing, Judge Miller said he would withhold further court actions until the competency arguments are held Jan. 17-20.
Mann, a former IBM employe who is seeking to represent himself, also objected to Miller's plan to have public defender Theodore Wiesman appear at the Jan. 17 hearing as Mann's attorney.
"You can't make him defend me," Mann told Miller. "That's exactly what I'm doing," Miller said.