- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - A convicted con man who pretended to be a big shot executive and ran up hotel tabs of hundreds of thousands of dollars told a judge he hears voices in his head and is mentally incompetent.

“I can’t think straight no more,” 39-year-old ‘Jimmy’ Sabatino testified in federal court in downtown Miami on Thursday. “I try to think and sometimes things just jump around.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola ruled that Sabatino seemed “lucid and responsive” and dismissed a motion from his defense attorney to rule the convicted felon mentally incompetent, The Miami Herald reported (https://hrld.us/20RpXkP ).

Sabatino has spent nearly his entire adult life behind bars, primarily for conning hotels into giving him free food, rooms and alcohol by pretending to be a record-label or movie-studio executive. He also scored 262 free tickets to Super Bowl XXIX in Miami in 1995 by pretending to be a Blockbuster executive, later selling them for almost $1,000 apiece.

Sabatino is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for amassing unpaid tabs of nearly $600,000 at four South Florida hotels.

Authorities say that while arresting Sabatino, they found him having sex with a 17-year-old girl. Sabatino has pleaded guilty to the crime and is due to be sentenced in January.

Rodolfo Buigas, a forensic psychologist at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testified that a series of exams showed Sabatino had “no cognitive impairment.” Buigas concluded that prisoner was “malingering” and “exaggerating his symptoms.”

The defense called no expert witness to testify that Sabatino was mentally incompetent.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, https://www.herald.com

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