December 29, 2016
Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to approve the forced psychiatric medication of a 57-year-old Carroll man to make him fit to stand trial for a weapons charge, according to court records.
Mark Alan Steffes suffers from an undisclosed mental health disorder that makes him incompetent to defend himself of the accusation he possessed a handgun in April 2015.
Steffes is a felon who is barred from having such weapons.
The federal case was set to go to trial in January, but Steffes fired his attorney just before its start.
In May, a Chicago psychologist recommended in-patient treatment to restore Steffes’ competency. The details of that treatment — and Steffes’ progress — are not a public record, but a recent court filing shows that prosecutors want to continue his treatment and administer unspecified medications to him against his will.
A court hearing on the matter is expected next month.
A new trial date has not been set. Steffes faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted.
Steffes was charged in 2002 in federal court for unlawfully possessing a handgun after a domestic violence conviction, court records show. He was sentenced to about 10 months in federal prison and was supervised by corrections officials for about three years until July 2007.
In April 2015, a local gun shop reported to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office that Steffes bought ammunition for a pistol he had with him.
A deputy sheriff arrested Steffes with the gun near his house in the 400 block of Third Street in Carroll.
He is held in a federal medical center.