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Court papers: Family Research Council shooter had been treated for hallucinations
Defense says Corkins missed dose of antipsychotic medicine day before shooting
A Virginia man who planned to kill employees at the D.C. headquarters of a conservative Christian organization last summer received mental health treatment for hallucinations months before he tried to storm the building and then shot a security guard.
The attorney for 29-year-old Floyd Lee Corkins II noted in court documents that his client had been doing well on prescribed antipsychotic medication but missed a doctor’s appointment for an additional dose the day before the Aug. 15, 2012, shooting at the Family Research Council.
Federal public defender David Bos noted Corkins‘ mental illness as a factor when asking for an 11½-year prison sentence for his client. Prosecutors previously recommended a 45-year prison sentence for Corkins, who is the first person to be found guilty of terrorism under the District’s 2002 Anti-Terrorism Act.
In court documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District, Mr. Bos wrote that if Corkins “were unrepentant and unremorseful for his conduct, and not suffering from a mental illness at the time he committed the offenses, a severe sentence might indeed be warranted in this case.”
Corkins is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Sept. 19.
In February, he admitted to entering the Family Research Council’s office lobby with a loaded semiautomatic pistol and shooting the security guard as the man wrestled him to the ground to subdue him. Corkins told investigators he wanted to kill employees of the conservative organization because, “I don’t like these people, and I don’t like what they stand for,” court documents state.
In addition to the pistol, Corkins also had with him two fully loaded magazine clips with 15 rounds each, a box of 50 rounds of 9 mm bullets, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. The sandwiches were bought the day before the shooting, Corkins told investigators, with the purpose of smearing them in the faces of his victims.
Corkins told investigators, according to court papers, that he took the sandwiches because “they endorse Chick-fil-A and also Chick-fil-A came out against gay marriage so I was going to use that as statement.”
Court documents filed Tuesday indicate that Corkins first sought mental health treatment in February 2012 while living in San Francisco. He was voluntarily committed after experiencing “auditory hallucinations, and having thoughts of killing his parents and conservative right-wing Christians,” documents state. He remained under a therapist’s care when released and began treatment at a new clinic in Falls Church after moving back to Virginia to live with his parents in Herndon. But under treatment for a major depressive disorder, his Virginia psychiatrist noted in July 2012 that Corkins “was no longer experiencing any depression or desire to harm himself or others.”
However, when Corkins was arrested after the shooting and questioned by police, Mr. Bos wrote that, “it was apparent the demons that led Mr. Corkins to seek treatment in San Francisco six months earlier had returned.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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