Man's Mental Condition is Evaluated

Man's Mental Condition is Evaluated

In April, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office arrested a homeless man after he allegedly stabbed a Centreville man in the upper body.

But he hasn't yet had his day in court because no one knows for sure his exact, mental capabilities. So 33-year-old Abdisalan Hassan Omar is now being evaluated to see if he's mentally fit to stand trial.

THE INCIDENT occurred April 27, around 10:15 p.m., at the Good Shepherd Shepherd Alliance Men's Homeless Shelter in the 42250 block of Ryan Road in Ashburn. In August, that facility was closed to men. But at the time, the victim, 50, was an employee there, and Omar, of no fixed address, was staying at the shelter.

According to sheriff's office spokesman Kraig Troxell, "The stabbing took place in the kitchen area of the shelter after an apparent argument as to whether the suspect was allowed to prepare food."

He said Omar and the victim quarreled because, according to shelter policy, it was past the 10 p.m. curfew for such activities. Then, said Troxell, "The suspect allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed the victim."

The sheriff's office charged Omar with aggravated malicious wounding. Meanwhile, the victim was Medivaced to Inova Fairfax Hospital in critical condition but, after treatment, his condition was upgraded to fair.

Omar was held without bond in the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, pending his appearance in Loudoun's General District Court. However, his case was continued several times.

On June 29, he needed an interpreter, but one wasn't available, so the case was set for Aug. 10. But sometime before that date, said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Vernail, Omar's defense attorney requested that his client undergo a "mental-health evaluation to find out his competency to stand trial."

THE ATTORNEY explained that he was concerned about Omar's ability to understand court proceedings. He also didn't believe his client would be able to assist him in the preparation of his defense.

So Omar was sent to Western State, a secure mental-health facility, where doctors could examine and test him. He returned to court in Loudoun County on Oct. 3, but hadn't made much progress, so he was sent back to Western State for further treatment.

And, said Vernail, "He'll stay in custody [there] until it's determined he can be restored to mental competency or is declared unrestorable." Omar's mental status is slated to be reviewed again on Nov. 15, when the court will receive an updated report on his progress.