Defense wants PTSD treatment for Barrington murder suspect

The defense for a Barrington man accused of killing his wife during a dispute sparked by a coffee maker are asking for his bond to be lowered so he can seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Larry Lotz, 65, is in custody at the Lake County jail on $3 million bail facing three counts of first-degree murder in the Jan. 15 shooting of his 59-year-old wife, Karen.

His lawyer, Robert Hauser, made a request Thursday in front of Judge Daniel Shanes to lower Lotz's bond and allow the Vietnam War veteran to take an available bed at the Veterans Affairs hospital in North Chicago, where he can undergo psychological testing.

"In his 40-year marriage, not once were the police ever called," Hauser said after court Thursday. "Then, all of a sudden on Jan. 15, he shoots his wife three times? Something is definitely wrong."

Hauser said Lotz remains on suicide watch in the county jail, is heavily medicated, and suffers from high anxiety.

Authorities say Lotz told Barrington police during a videotaped interview that he shot his wife after he became upset when she "began to nag him."

The fatal shooting occurred after Lotz and his wife got into an argument over him leaving the coffee maker on, authorities said. After unplugging the coffee maker, Lotz retreated to an office area above his garage to be alone, officials said.

According to a county prosecutor, Karen Lotz used a key to enter the locked office and then was shot three times by her husband, including once in the head.

After the shooting, Lotz called his son, who urged him to call 9-1-1, authorities said. Barrington police arrived at the house at just before 1 a.m., Jan. 15, and found Karen Lotz with "serious injuries." She was taken to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Barrington, where she later died.

Karen Lotz was an admissions supervisor at Harper College, where she had worked for nearly 20 years.

Lotz will return to court Friday morning for further proceedings regarding his bail. He is scheduled to go on trial May 9.

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