DAKOTA CITY -- Prosecutors are again seeking a court order to allow mental health professionals to force a man accused of shooting and dismembering another man to take medications that could restore his mental competency to stand trial.
A psychiatrist believes it's likely that Andres Surber "is malingering for the purpose of avoiding punishment" and has stopped taking medications for long periods of time, a motion filed Wednesday said.
Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Sandra Allen asks in the motion, filed Wednesday, that Surber be ordered to comply with treatment recommendations, including the involuntary administration of anti-psychotic medication. Allen said that Surber continues to refuse to comply with treatment, including taking medications.
A Feb. 13 hearing has been scheduled in Dakota County District Court.
Surber, 27, of Wakefield, Nebraska, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He is accused of shooting Kraig Kubik, 42, of Emerson, Nebraska, with a 9mm firearm on Nov. 1, 2016, and dismembering his body.
A state psychiatrist who evaluated Surber found that he could not stand trial in his current mental condition. District Judge Paul Vaughan in April ruled Surber mentally incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to undergo treatment at the Lincoln Regional Center. In August, prosecutors asked Vaughan to force Surber to comply with his treatment, which included taking medications.
Vaughan in August ordered Surber to cooperate with psychiatrists but did not order medications to be administered against his wishes because Surber had voluntarily begun taking one of them. At that time, Surber had not yet been approached by doctors to take a second medication they believed would restore his competency.
In her new motion, Allen quoted from a report authored by Dr. Farid Karimi, a forensic psychiatrist at the Regional Center, who said that shortly after Vaughan's August order, Surber on several occasions has stopped taking his medications. Kirimi testified in August that Surber has a form of bipolar disorder.
"In order to make a comprehensive determination about his competency status, we need that Mr. Surber to take his medication, on a consistent pattern," said a portion of Kirimi's report that was included in the motion.
Surber's attorney, Todd Lancaster, of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy in Lincoln, said he would resist the motion and declined to comment on it further. He said many of the issues and questions raised in the motion likely would be addressed at the upcoming hearing.
If it's determined Surber will never regain competency, prosecutors would have the option of seeking to have him civilly committed to a mental health institution.
Prosecutors believe Surber shot Kubik at Kubik's rural Emerson, Nebraska, home after they had a disagreement over the payment for a car Kubik bought from Surber. Kubik's right arm and right leg were found inside the trunk of a car at an abandoned farm 24 miles away on Nov. 2, 2016. The rest of Kubik's remains were found three days later in a culvert about four miles from the farmhouse.
Autopsy results showed that Kubik died of a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Brayan Galvan-Hernandez, 19, of Wakefield, in October pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree murder and pleaded guilty to accessory to a felony in connection with Kubik's death. Prosecutors said Galvan-Hernandez either knew that Surber planned to shoot Kubik or helped him plan the shooting and that he also removed or destroyed evidence.
Vaughan sentenced Galvan-Hernandez to 50-60 years in prison in December.