Competency of man accused of threatening governor and Jewish community to be revisited

  • Brian Roberts, shown during his bail hearing at Concord District Court on Dec. 11, 2018, is accused of threatening Jewish people, the governor at the CIA. Geoff Forester / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 4/19/2019 5:22:56 PM
Modified: 4/19/2019 5:22:44 PM

A judge will reconsider at the end of the year the mental competency of a man accused of emailing threats against the governor and Jewish people to the CIA.

A defense attorney filed a motion under seal late last year asking the court for a mental competency evaluation of Brian Roberts, 38. While the details remain under seal, court documents show a restoration hearing – when the court determines whether a person previously found incompetent to stand trial has been rehabilitated – is scheduled for December.

The court can request an update on Roberts’ competency before that date under state law.

Roberts, a homeless man originally from Lancaster, has schizophrenia, according to court records. He is accused of sending emails to the CIA last year making threats such as “Going to shoot Gov state of NH no matter what” and “I’d kill every Jew I ever ... look at.” He is facing one charge of misdemeanor criminal threatening.

Roberts is confined to either the Merrimack County jail or New Hampshire Hospital, court records show. Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said he could not comment on the specifics of Roberts’s case because the motion to determine competency was made under seal and kept out of the public court file.

Speaking generally, Ward said if a person is initially found to be incompetent to stand trial, a year-long period in which the defendant can be restored starts from the date that finding is made by the courts.

At the end of that time, if a judge has determined the defendant is competent, the case will proceed. If not, the charges are dropped without prejudice, meaning they can be revisited.

Where a person receives treatment depends on their bail status, Ward said.

Last year, Concord circuit court Judge Kristin Spath ruled Roberts would remain in jail without bail. If he was admitted to the state hospital, Spath said his bail would convert to personal recognizance. If Roberts left the state hospital for any reason, he would be returned to jail.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

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