Report details Nichols Hills doctor’s mental illness, remorse

BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: January 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm •  Published: January 15, 2010

© Copyright 2010, The Oklahoman

The Nichols Hills doctor accused of fatally stabbing his 9-year-old son said he has hallucinated since his arrest about seeing his dead boy and about seeing a "little devil,” a state psychologist has reported.

Dr. Stephen Paul Wolf was arrested Nov. 16 after a police officer found him straddling his stabbed son in the kitchen of their home, according to a police affidavit. He repeatedly told the police officer, "He’s got the devil in him and you know it,” according to the affidavit.

Wolf, 51, was examined Jan. 6 by the psychologist for two hours because of concerns about his mental competency to face prosecution. The psychologist, Shawn Roberson, reported to a judge that Wolf understands the charge against him and can assist his defense attorney but must continue to receive treatment to stay competent.

The 10-page report provides new details about Wolf, his remorse since his arrest and his long mental illness involving religious beliefs.

Oklahoma County District Judge Don Deason scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on whether the case against Wolf can move forward.

Wolf’s son, Tommy, died from multiple stab wounds. His wife, Mary Wolf, suffered cuts to her hands and face when she intervened. Wolf is charged with first-degree murder in his son’s death and assault and battery with a deadly weapon in his wife’s injuries.

Defense attorney Mack Martin declined comment. The attorney had been expected to try an insanity defense. However, the psychologist reported Wolf "stated that he firmly disagreed with one potential defense strategy they had discussed.”

Wolf is being held in the Oklahoma County jail. He was hospitalized for a week in December for low blood pressure after he was observed in the jail to be babbling and incoherent.

Wolf told the psychologist he first experienced hallucinations in 1984.

"He provided one example, describing how he had left church one day and believed the priest was communicating with him from across the church, saying, ‘You’ll be damned.’ Mr. Wolf also described having past paranoid and delusional religious beliefs that he was ‘evil’ and ‘the devil,’” the psychologist reported.

"Mr. Wolf stated that while hospitalized … he experienced both hallucinations and delusions. He related that he saw his deceased son and wife present in the room, although he now understands that they were not present. He also indicated he frequently saw a ‘little devil’ which he described as a small ‘body creature’ inside his hospital room.”

‘Cycling of emotions’
Wolf said a psychiatrist he has seen since 1991 diagnosed him as having a bipolar II disorder, according to the report to the judge. He said he had been prescribed a mood stabilizer and antipsychotic medication before his arrest. Ongoing Coverage: Nichols Hills doctor

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What Oklahoma law says about insanity, prosecution

A defendant can be found not guilty by reason of insanity even if he is mentally competent to be prosecuted. Under Oklahoma law, a defendant is considered insane if he did not know right from wrong at the moment of the crime. A defendant is considered competent if he understands the criminal charge against him and is able to consult with his lawyer and rationally assist in preparing a defense. Some severely mentally ill defendants can become competent with medication. Others never do.

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