- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 7, 2001

A federal judge yesterday ruled that Russell Eugene Weston Jr. should be medicated against his will so he can stand trial for the 1998 killings of two U.S. Capitol Police officers.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that Weston, a diagnosed schizophrenic, must receive anti-psychotic drugs to make him able to help in his defense. The judge said he would monitor side effects to prevent any medication from interfering with Weston's right to a fair trial.
"The court has carefully scrutinized the likely impact of the medication on Weston's fair-trial rights and, at this stage, is persuaded that Weston can be medicated without impermissibly infringing on his ability to receive a fair trial," Judge Sullivan said in his ruling.
Weston, 45, is charged with murder in the deaths of U.S. Capitol Police Officers Jacob J. Chestnut, 58, and John M. Gibson, 42, on July 24, 1998.
Weston said he said he went to the Capitol armed with a revolver to regain control of a time machine he invented.
Judge Sullivan last year found Weston incompetent to stand trial and originally ordered he be forcibly treated to determine whether he would ever be mentally competent to stand trial.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the decision and told Judge Sullivan to explore the issue further. Yesterday's order resulted from a series of hearings held after the case was sent back to Judge Sullivan.
Judge Sullivan ordered the Bureau of Prisons to begin medicating Weston after 5 p.m. on March 19 to allow Weston's attorney to file an appeal. Weston will be treated at the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, N.C., where he has been held.
A.J. Kramer, Weston's federal public defender, said he will appeal the ruling and ask that his client not be medicated until the Court of Appeals rules on the appeal.
U.S. Attorney Wilma A. Lewis said yesterday she was glad another hurdle in the case was cleared.
"We are gratified and encouraged by the ruling," Miss Lewis said. "We will continue to press forward to ensure that justice is achieved in this case."
Judge Sullivan said an additional hearing could be held after Weston is medicated to determine how he is affected by the medication and if his reaction to it could hurt his ability to help in his defense.
The judge noted, however, that if he finds the side effects could prejudice a jury against Weston, the government will "risk the possibility of forfeiting its rights to bring Weston to trial."
"If Weston is medicated and his competency is restored, the court is willing to take whatever reasonable measures are necessary to ensure that his rights are protected," Judge Sullivan said.
The judge ordered that Weston be monitored regularly and report to him monthly.

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