COEUR D’ALENE – A North Idaho man at the center of a murder for hire plot plans to use a mental condition as part of his defense. Edgar Steele’s attorneys confirm Steele’s mental evaluation will likely be part of his defense, but they say he is not claiming insanity.
The former Aryan Nations lawyer has been in jail for most of the last year. The FBI claims he hired Larry Fairfax to plant a pipe bomb under his wife’s SUV last summer. Steele and his wife Cyndi continue to defend his innocence.
Now federal documents show Steele’s defense will include expert evidence about a medical condition. His attorneys confirm that, but they won’t elaborate other than to say it’s not an insanity defense.
Gary Amendola represents Steele. He says it’s no secret Steele has medical issues that require medication. He says the medication could’ve affected Steele to a degree that would prove there was no intent to kill his wife.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office will send Steele to the Ada County Jail by next Friday for a mental evaluation. A psychologist will examine his physical well-being and mental health, and try to determine what his mental state was at the time of the alleged crime.
Steele’s trial was pushed back to April 26th to allow time for the mental evaluation.