SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

October 23, 2013

Stabbing suspect sent to Bridgewater for evaluation

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — The former Salem State University student charged with stabbing two people on board a campus shuttle bus last month was sent yesterday by a Salem District Court judge to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Timothy Wells, 25, of Woburn is facing charges that include armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon as a result of the Sept. 25 incident on the bus.

A female student, 23, and a 22-year-old bus driver for Cavalier Coach, which operates the shuttle bus, were stabbed, allegedly by Wells, after he had made several round-trips around campus that morning. Police say the attack on the woman, who did not know Wells, was unprovoked. The driver was stabbed when he tried to intervene, police said.

The incident and the concern that Wells was still on campus led to a lockdown at the school, as well as at the city’s Horace Mann elementary school, which is on the campus.

Wells had initially refused to waive rendition to Massachusetts from New York, where he was arrested hours after the stabbing when his car broke down.

However, late last week, he had a change of heart and signed the waiver, allowing officials from Massachusetts to pick him up, his attorney, Paul Lawton, said outside court.

Wells met with a court psychologist, Dr. Randall Dwyer, yesterday at the request of his attorney. Dwyer, in a report to the judge, said Wells appeared to be experiencing disorganized thoughts and delusions and was unable to complete the interview.

That led Dwyer to recommend a 20-day evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital, a secure facility run by the state Department of Corrections, where Wells will be evaluated for competency to stand trial, as well as for criminal responsibility.

Prosecutor Patrick Collins also filed a motion seeking to have Wells held without bail as a danger to the public, but he agreed to delay that hearing until the Bridgewater evaluation is completed.

Dwyer told Judge Michael Uhlarik that Wells has a documented history of major mental illness.

Wells was also arraigned in an earlier incident in which Salem police found him wandering around Bertram Field, which was closed at the time, allegedly carrying a knife. A not-guilty plea was also entered in that case.

He is due back in court on both cases on Nov. 8.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.