CORRECTED - Denver man accused of threatening to kill Obama mentally ill, judge says

Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01pm IST

U.S. President Barack Obama attends the 4th ASEAN-U.S. leaders' meeting at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh November 19, 2012. REUTERS/ Samrang Pring

U.S. President Barack Obama attends the 4th ASEAN-U.S. leaders' meeting at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh November 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/ Samrang Pring

Related Topics

(Corrects headline to say "man accused of threatening" instead of "man who threatened"; corrects paragraphs 1-2 to show death threat was not tied to a specific visit; removes timing of diagnosis in paragraph 5)

By Robert Boczkiewicz

DENVER (Reuters) - A 20-year-old Colorado man charged with threatening to kill President Barack Obama during a visit to the state is severely mentally ill and must remain in custody, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Mitchell Kusick was arrested this month by the U.S. Secret Service at his parents' suburban Denver home after his mental health therapist told police last month that Kusick had revealed to the therapist that he wanted to kill the president, and had been trying to keep track of his visits to the Denver area.

A U.S. Secret Service affidavit showed that Kusick also "made credible threats and took steps" toward shooting and killing children at a trick-or-treat Halloween event sponsored by a Denver-area high school.

"It's clear to the court that the defendant has a severe mental illness," U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Kristin Mix said in denying a request from Kusick's attorney to allow him to be released on bond.

Mix said Kusick had been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and posed a "risk to the community."

Kusick's attorney, Marci Gilligan, argued that Kusick should be released under electronic monitoring pending trial and be required to live with his parents and to take medications to control his illness.

She said he had "a breakdown" on October 28 and sought help by calling his therapist for an emergency appointment.

Kusick was hospitalized for mental disorders from October 29 to November 9, when mental health providers decided he was not then a threat, Gilligan told the judge.

The Secret Service, who had interviewed Kusick in a mental ward, arrested him because "they were concerned for the community's safety," Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hosley said.

The Secret Service agent's affidavit said Kusick had told his therapist he had had daily homicidal fantasies for years. An agent testified on Monday that books about assassinations were found during a search of the home of Kusick's parents, where he had been living. (Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fighting Islamic State

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

U.S. to issue new Ebola guidelines, watch lists to shrink.  Full Article 

Setback for Abe

Setback for Abe

Setback for Japan PM as trade minister quits, media say another resign.  Full Article 

New President

New President

Reform-minded outsider Widodo takes over as Indonesia's president.  Full Article 

Call for Leniency

Call for Leniency

South Korea concert victims' families call for leniency.  Full Article 

Hong Kong Crisis

Hong Kong Crisis

Hong Kong crisis deepens after weekend clashes, talks set for Tuesday.  Full Article 

Kidnapped Girls

Kidnapped Girls

Nigerians doubtful of girls' release after Boko Haram "truce" breached.  Full Article 

Brazil Politics

Brazil Politics

Brazil's Rousseff on the offensive a week from runoff vote.  Full Article 

Nepal Disaster

Nepal Disaster

Tragedy shakes Nepal's faith in tourism.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage