- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 30, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A housekeeper accused of slashing four nursing-home residents in Alexandria in January has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Mustafa Mohamed appeared briefly with his attorney yesterday afternoon in General District Court in Alexandria. Judge E. Robert Giammittorio explained that Mr. Mohamed will be going back to Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Va.

“There won’t be a trial for now,” Judge Giammittorio said.

Mr. Mohamed, 30, was facing malicious wounding charges in the slashing of the four nursing-home residents, a visitor and an employee during a Jan. 9 incident at Goodwin House, where he worked as a housekeeper.

While the injuries were not life-threatening, Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney S. Randolph Sengel described them as “extremely serious.”

One victim’s neck was broken, while another required 200 stitches to close wounds, Mr. Sengel said.

After a preliminary hearing in February, Mr. Mohamed was sent for exams at Central State. His attorney said he was not surprised the hospital diagnosed his client with psychosis.

“He’s having problems with reality testing. He couldn’t assist counsel in his own defense. He couldn’t enter a plea in any reasonable way,” defense attorney Bob Moffitt said.

He said Mr. Mohamed had no history of mental illness before a severe beating in San Diego in 1998 that left him comatose for three weeks.

The hospital report said Mr. Mohamed sought psychological or psychiatric treatment in the District within the past five years because of auditory hallucinations, which he also experienced in jail. Doctors said his condition improved slightly with anti-psychotic medications.

Mr. Moffitt expects Mr. Mohamed’s hospital treatment will include medication aimed at enabling him to stand trial. An updated report on his condition is due in six months.

“By law in Virginia, when a person is in this status, the case must be reviewed every six months,” Mr. Sengel said.

Mr. Sengel said during a previous court appearance that the attack happened after the result of a dispute between Mr. Mohamed and his supervisor.

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