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Mental exam denied for Mansfield man who allegedly threatened Obama

A federal judge in Boston on Friday refused to order a mental health examination for a Mansfield man who allegedly threatened to kill President Obama, court records show.

In a brief order filed in US District Court in Boston, Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell, citing a rules violation, declined to order the examination for Andrew J. O'Keefe, 28, who is charged with threatening the president.

O'Keefe's lawyer, William J. Cintolo, had filed a motion earlier Friday asking Cabell to order the transfer of his client, who is currently being held at a Plymouth jail, to Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer for the examination.


Cintolo wrote that he was seeking the examination of O'Keefe "to determine his competency [to stand trial] and dangerousness. O'Keefe understands that a full examination might take up to 60 days and asks that the doctors at FMC Devens conduct the examination."

Cabell denied Cintolo's motion without prejudice, meaning he can file it again. The judge rejected the request on the grounds that Cintolo failed to comply with a rule of federal criminal procedure in Massachusetts that states, "No motion shall be filed unless counsel certify that they have conferred and have attempted in good faith to resolve or narrow the issue."

Cintolo could not be reached for comment late Friday. Federal prosecutors had not responded to the motion before Cabell issued his ruling.

O'Keefe allegedly posted a threat to murder the president on an FBI website in May, and he included his Social Security number so that he could be identified, according to court filings.

He allegedly wrote, "I'm planning to kill President Barack Obama, and I've got a really good plan. Have the Secret Service give me a visit. I could use some company."

He has pleaded not guilty and has a status conference scheduled for Sept. 29.


In the motion, Cintolo described O'Keefe as "a bright ... college graduate who seems to be experiencing some emotional problems."

Cintolo continued, "O'Keefe and the Court would be well served if a mental health examination were performed to determine whether he is a threat and/or what treatment protocol can be established to obviate any similar behavior in the future."

O'Keefe has documented "mental health issues" and is also charged in state court with weapons offenses, Special Agent Fred F. Mitchell III of the US Secret Service wrote in an affidavit in the federal threat case.

Investigators seized more than 100 weapons from O'Keefe's car two days after he allegedly posted the threat, including swords, double-edged knives, hatchets, spears, and an air-compressed rifle, Mitchell wrote.

In addition, when Mitchell knocked on the door of O'Keefe's apartment to question him about the online posting, O'Keefe responded that "free speech" is not a crime and that words are "myths," Mitchell wrote.

O'Keefe also said he had to eat before speaking with law enforcement to "have enough energy" to survive a shooting by police, Mitchell said in the affidavit.

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.