Crime, Law and Justice

Judge finds 2021 St. Cloud bank standoff suspect competent to stand trial

A suspect talks with negotiators through a lobby.
A robbery suspect, later identified as Ray Reco McNeary, talks with negotiators on May 6, 2021, during a standoff with police at a Wells Fargo branch in St. Cloud, Minn.
Paul Middlestaedt for MPR News

A federal judge ruled Monday that a man charged in connection with a nearly nine-hour standoff at a St. Cloud bank is competent to stand trial.

No one suffered physical injuries in the May 6, 2021, incident when Ray Reco McNeary, 38, allegedly took five Wells Fargo employees hostage, threatened them with scissors and demanded $60,000 in cash.

Police arrested McNeary that evening after the last remaining hostage made a run for the door. Investigators did not recover any firearms.

Dr. Lacie Biber, a psychologist at the Federal Medical Center in Ft. Worth, Texas, later determined that McNeary suffered from “delusional persecutory beliefs” and “grew increasingly agitated, suspicious and paranoid when questioned about the events leading up to his offense, believing that law enforcement is conspiring with known acquaintances to harass him, steal his mone and steal his identity.”

According to a summary of her findings filed with the court, Biber wrote that McNeary “is likely to improve with participation in treatment.”

Magistrate Judge Leo Brisbois concurred with Biber’s determination that McNeary was not competent to assist with his defense, and in March 2022 he ordered that McNeary receive psychological and psychiatric care. McNeary was treated at a Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Devens, Mass.

After reviewing a new psychological report filed with the court in May, Brisbois ruled Monday that McNeary is competent to proceed.

At a brief hearing in St. Paul, defense attorney Paul Engh agreed not to pursue an insanity defense.

McNeary is in federal custody at the Sherburne County Jail.

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