Dean Loew
Dean Loew
January 23, 2014

Dean Loew might suffer from a mental disorder that prevents him from being able to defend himself from the seven felony drug charges he faces in Carroll County, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Loew, 46, is accused of selling marijuana and high-purity methamphetamine at a rural Arcadia farmstead twice in July under surveillance of local police officers and sheriff's deputies.

His attorney, Robert Peterson, of Carroll, requested a psychiatric evaluation last week and alleged that Loew's "extensive drug usage" might have rendered him incapable of knowing right from wrong or aiding his defense against criminal charges.

Loew was arrested in late November and is held in Carroll County Jail on $100,000 bond. He has since written several notes to sheriff's officials about the case that "clearly do not help the defendant," Peterson said in his request for the evaluation.

Loew "continues to believe that he can be released from jail to make major drug buys for the state," Peterson concluded. "Even the jailers have made comments to (me) concerning the defendant's mental state."

District Judge Gary McMinimee granted Peterson's request for the state-paid evaluation on Wednesday. A sheriff's deputy will transport Loew to psychiatrist Michael Taylor's office in Cumming in central Iowa for the evaluation, which is expected to cost up to $1,000.

It's unclear how soon Taylor will provide a report from that evaluation. If Taylor finds Loew insane or of diminished capacity, it's likely that County Attorney John Werden will seek a second opinion from a psychiatrist of his choosing, according to court records.

Loew faces felony charges for delivery of methamphetamine and marijuana, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, and drug-related tax violations. They are punishable by up to 95 years in prison if he is convicted.

Loew also requested last week a new attorney to replace Peterson, whom he accused of "working more for the state's side instead of the defendant's side."

But Loew dropped that request on Tuesday, court records show.