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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Accused Assassin Plotter Loses Bid for Group Home

(CN) - A paranoid schizophrenic man who threatened to kill President George W. Bush is not ready to be released from prison, a federal judge ruled.

Aleksander Aleksov, now 33, obtained a green card as part of the U.S. government's diversity lottery program and moved to the United States from his native Macedonia in 2005.

On Jan. 28, 2008, Aleksov walked from his sister's apartment in Alexandria, Va., to the White House. He went up to a Secret Service agent and said he wanted to kill the president, saying Satan had ordered him to do so.

He was arrested the next day then committed to the U.S. Attorney General's Office for a mental health exam.

A magistrate judge later determined Aleksov was not competent to stand trial and committed him to the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., for treatment and further evaluation.

After Aleksov underwent an involuntarily medication regime, a grand jury returned an indictment in January 2011 charging Aleksov for threatening the president. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

In response to a court order, his treating doctors at Butner then submitted a report concluding that Aleksov suffers from a mental disease, and would be a threat to others if he was released.

Two days later defense lawyers sought Aleksov's release from prison under certain conditions.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly refused Thursday.

Despite taking anti-psychotic medication, Aleksov continues to have delusions that he is being persecuted by Satan, and that that Satan can control his thoughts. He believes that people are not who they say they are and can morph into other people. The judge decided that Aleksov is still a threat to others, even though he has never hurt anyone.

In January 2011, for example, more than 18 months after he began taking antipsychotic meds, Aleksov said he wanted to kill his mother and drink her blood.

Under the terms of the conditional release that defense attorneys submitted to the court, Aleksov would live in a community home with 24-hour care of team with a nurse, psychiatrist and case managers.

He would be required to keep taking his medication, and to attend a day program at a Washington, D.C., treatment center. Though this would require staying within greater D.C., he would still have to stay away from the White House.

Kollar-Kotelly did not find the plan persuasive enough to release Aleksov.

"The defendant has failed to satisfy his burden of proof," she wrote. "Apart from the proposed conditional release plan, the Defendant remains actively psychotic and delusional.

"The defendant has no insight into his mental illness. Moreover, the defendant only takes his medication because it is ordered by the court, not because he sees a need for it.

"The defendant is not motivated to nor does he see a need for participating in any mental health treatment. The defendant believes he is being persecuted and that Satan can force the defendant to take actions beyond his control." (Italics in original.)

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