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Forum staff reports, Published August 13 2009

Mental exam ordered for bank heist suspect

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – A man accused of stealing a vehicle used in a bank robbery in the northeastern North Dakota town of Gilby will undergo a mental health evaluation.

The attorney for 63-year-old Clifton Patterson says the evaluation will help determine if he is fit to stand trial.

Prosecutors say they believe Patterson has been showing unusual and uncooperative behavior during court appearances so that he can get a mental health evaluation.

He is expected to be taken to the State Hospital in Jamestown later this month.

Patterson is accused of stealing the vehicle used in the May 26 armed robbery of the Bremer Bank in Gilby, from a Fargo dealership. He was later arrested in Mississippi.

Prosecutors say Patterson has a record of armed robberies and other crimes. He has not been charged in the Gilby robbery itself, which involved two men.