Lawyer details his client's ills
Cites alcoholism and mental illness in Nantucket case
NANTUCKET -- A former New York bank executive charged in the fatal stabbing of his former girlfriend was mentally ill, struggling with alcohol addiction and suffering from "the ultimate rejection" of a spurned marriage proposal when she was killed, his lawyer told a jury yesterday.
But prosecutor Brian Glenny said the relationship between Thomas Toolan III and Elizabeth Lochtefeld "came to a violent end at the hands of Mr. Toolan."
Toolan is accused of fatally stabbing Lochtefeld, 44, in her Nantucket bungalow on Oct. 25, 2004, three days after she broke up with him.
Lochtefeld, a successful New York entrepreneur, met Toolan, a former
During opening statements at Toolan's trial yesterday, defense lawyer Kevin Reddington said Toolan was not criminally responsible for the slaying because he had a mental illness and alcohol abuse problems at the time.
Reddington said Toolan was, "the victim, if you will, of the ultimate rejection," because Lochtefeld had turned down his marriage proposal during the weekend when Lochtefeld ended their relationship.
Authorities say Toolan held Lochtefeld hostage in his New York City apartment the night she broke things off with him, but she escaped while he was asleep and fled to Nantucket. Police said she inquired about how to get a restraining order, but did not immediately file the paperwork. Two days later, she was found dead.
Toolan attempted to board a plane bound for Nantucket the day before Lochtefeld was killed, but was stopped after security screeners at New York's LaGuardia Airport found a knife in his coat. The next day, Toolan took another flight to Nantucket and then rented a car and bought a fishing knife at a local store, authorities said. The knife used to kill Lochtefeld has not been found.