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Queens Chronicle

St. John’s Gunman Unfit For Trial

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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007 12:00 am

The Queens District Attorney’s Office confirmed reports Tuesday that the St. John’s University gunman is mentally unfit to stand trial.

The report, which was received by the district attorney Tuesday, was leaked to The New York Post from the hospital earlier. The report indicated that Omesh Hiraman “is incompetent to stand trial.”

The newspaper reported that the assessment was written by a psychiatrist at Kings County Hospital Center. However, Hiraman is currently being held at Bellevue Hospital Center.

He was arraigned at his bedside via two-way video on Sept. 28 on charges of bringing an unlicensed loaded .50-caliber rifle onto the campus two days earlier.

If convicted of the charges against him, Hiraman faces up to one year in prison.

Now that he’s been found unfit to plea, he could potentially be held in a mental institution indefinitely or until he is assessed fit to stand trial.

The next hearing in this case is set for Oct. 17. At that time the defense and prosecution will have the opportunity to either accept or reject the psychiatric assessment.

The spokesman for the district attorney’s office declined to comment on whether they would accept the findings, saying that they don’t like to discuss events that are in the future.

Hiraman’s defense attorney, Anthony Colleluori, was in court all day Tuesday and hadn’t returned calls at press time.

According to The Post, Hiraman “hears voices, and he was responding to those voices (when he brought the shotgun to campus). He’s suicidal and cannot assist in his own defense.”

—Jillian Abbott

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