The trial of a former Salem State University student charged with stabbing two people on board a campus shuttle bus last September has been scheduled for December. But the outcome of the trial is all but certain to be a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity.
That's because experts for both the defense and prosecution appear to have agreed that Timothy Wells, 25, of Woburn was not rational on Sept. 25, when he boarded the Cavalier Coach shuttle bus, rode around campus, then attacked a female student and the bus driver who tried to intervene.
He then fled, touching off a brief campus lockdown and a search that ended when Wells' car broke down that night on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York.
During a hearing Wednesday in Salem Superior Court, defense attorney Paul Lawton and prosecutor A.J. Camelio told a judge that they are seeking a jury-waived, "stipulated fact" trial on the three remaining counts against Wells, which include a single charge of attempted murder and two counts of assault and battery.
Judge Timothy Feeley agreed to schedule the trial for Dec. 8. The trial will be before a judge, not a jury.
Wells is currently being held at Bridgewater State Hospital, where medications have made him competent to stand trial. In addition to being held in the criminal case, Wells has now been civilly committed to the hospital as a patient through at least next June.
Wells' appearance has changed dramatically since last September. He appears to have gained significant weight and now has long hair and a beard. During court appearances in May and on Wednesday, he swayed side to side as the attorneys spoke.
Court reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.
Copyright 2014 - The Salem News, Beverly, Mass.