Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The mental health of an Ethiopian immigrant who said he wanted to kill police officers and U.S. soldiers will be reviewed against his wishes

Sara Israelsen:

Kiddus Yohannes

The mental health of a man who bought high-powered guns illegally and told his roommates he wanted to kill police officers and U.S. soldiers will be reviewed against his wishes.

During an appearance Thursday in 4th District Court, prosecutor Donna Kelly asked Judge Gary Stott to order a mental-competency review for Kiddus Chane Yohannes, 20, who was arrested June 8 after police learned he had purchased guns illegally and was threatening violent attacks if given a chance.

"We have some concerns that he has mental-health issues, which raise questions as to his competency," Kelly said.

However, Yohannes' court-appointed attorney, Richard Gale, said Yohannes wanted to proceed with a preliminary hearing.

"He indicates he's never received mental-health treatment and doesn't believe he suffers from mental-health issues," Gale said. "He would rather go further than delay it until August."

Stott said he would allow the Utah County Attorney's Office to proceed with the competency review. Yohannes will be in court again Aug. 2 at 8:30 a.m.

He faces five third-degree felonies, including unlawful possession of an ATM card and four charges of providing false information during a background check prior to purchasing a handgun.

Yohannes, a native of Ethiopia, is accused of purchasing several guns in October, including AK-47s, at pawn shops in both Orem and Provo, using false alien registration numbers.

Provo police officers had been investigating Yohannes after confiscating a gun from him, so when Orem officers began investigating Yohannes, the two agencies pooled their information.

Together, they discovered Yohannes had used two different numbers at various Utah County pawn shops. That information, combined with alleged threats to roommates and Yohannes' obsession with execution-style Internet videos, led police to make an arrest for investigation of false information on a gun background check.

A search of Yohannes' car revealed an imported Russian rifle, several rounds of ammunition, weapon parts and drawings of the weapons, according to the police affidavit.

Officials with the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification still aren't sure how Yohannes was able to purchase guns with the two different numbers.

“Native Of” For “Immigrant”–And An Immigrant Mass Murder That Didn’t Happen

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