MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A Milwaukee doctor does not have a lawyer as he goes on trial Monday for the slaying of his ex-wife. Circuit Judge Daniel Konkol found 72-year-old Gerhard Witte mentally competent Monday morning. And the judge ordered the trial to proceed without a stand-by attorney who had joined him in court. Witte is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the murder of his 65-year-old ex-wife Elisabeth Witte in May of 2008.
Prosecutors said he slit the woman’s throat in a parking garage in downtown Milwaukee, after she performed that day with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. A previous stand-by lawyer, Scott F. Anderson, asked that Witte be found incompetent to present his own defense. He said a personality disorder caused him to make poor decisions – but he agreed they were made of his own volition. Witte has said he’ll tell the jury that he’s been prevented from getting the information he needs to make his own case – and he did not plan to say anything else during the trial.
Also, he decided not to wear the business suit to which criminal defendants are entitled to wear during a trial. Instead, Witte is wearing a protective gown given to prisoners on suicide watches.