Robbery suspect gets special treatment because of 'self harm'

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

JANESVILLE—A man accused of three robberies in Beloit and Janesville on May 8 has a history of harming himself while in custody, and he requested a mental competency evaluation in Rock County Court on Tuesday.

Thomas J. McKee Jr., 30, of 1214 Cherry St., Janesville, and co-defendant Ray D. Trickie, 35, of 1833 Townline Ave., Beloit, are charged with robbing a Beloit gas station, the Lions Quick Mart at highways 14 and 51 in the town of Janesville and then a Walgreens in Beloit, all in the same morning.

McKee appeared in court Tuesday via videoconference from the Rock County Jail, where his hands and feet were secured, and a blanket covered him from the neck down.

McKee “presents an extremely difficult circumstance for the jail,” said Assistant District Attorney Jodi Dabson Bollendorf, because he “does a lot of self harm.”

Bollendorf did not say exactly what was included in the self-harm, but she said he engaged in the activity while in prison and now has a catheter in his lower stomach.

He rips the catheter out, sometimes succeeding even when his legs and feet are bound, Bollendorf said.

A medical procedure of four to five hours is required to replace the catheter, she said.

“He absolutely does not want to be in prison,” and the self-harm is an attempt to avoid being returned to the prison in Waupun, Bollendorf said.

The Department of Corrections wants to revoke McKee's extended supervision from a previous conviction and return him to Waupun, where the prison medical unit has handled him in the past, and where officials believe they can keep him safe, Bollendorf said.

Defense attorney David Hart said McKee has asked for and is entitled to a competency evaluation, which will help Judge Michael Haakenson decide whether McKee is mentally capable of assisting in his own defense.

Bollendorf said the mental competency request is another way McKee is trying to avoid a return to Waupun.

Haakenson ordered McKee be sent to Waupun pending further court appearances and said the competency evaluation can be done there.

McKee told arresting officers that he was a cocaine addict who got out of prison April 18 after serving eight years for armed robbery, according to the criminal complaint.

The two men used steak knives in the robberies, taking cartons of cigarettes and money and exchanging those for crack cocaine after each robbery, according to the complaint.

Trickie told police he and McKee smoked crack cocaine between the first two robberies.

McKee's next court appearance is scheduled for June 21.

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