Lawyer Says Accused VA Shooter Needs Mental Exam

The lawyer for Bernard Harvey, the accused shooter in an incident last week at Chicago’s Jesse Brown V.A. hospital, says his client suffers from “delusional thinking patterns”, and that he may have trouble even understanding his current legal predicament.

Attorney Santino Coleman is asking for a formal mental evaluation for Harvey, a request which he says is not opposed by prosecutors. Coleman said in a motion filed Thursday evening, that Harvey’s father told him that his son had been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia and delusional thinking, and had been treated in the past with anti-psychotic medications.

“There is reasonable cause to believe Mr. Harvey may presently suffer from a mental disease or defect, rendering him incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequence of the proceedings against him, or to assist properly in his defense,” Coleman wrote.

The 40 year old Harvey is accused of firing multiple shots outside Chicago’s Jesse Brown V.A. hospital last Monday, including at one shot which blew out a window of the hospital’s entrance. Investigators say he entered the hospital and fired at least one more shot, before being subdued by guards.

Prosecutors said the rifle which Harvey used in the attack had been stolen in a spectacular smash-and-grab robbery of an Indianapolis-area gun store last month. At the time, investigators said as many as six individuals had taken part in that heist. 

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