Saturday, November 08, 2008
Jury Finds Japanese Attacker Guilty, Mentally Ill
SANTA FE A Santa Fe jury has found a Japanese man "guilty but mentally ill" in the stabbing of an English biologist as he was speaking on "thought transference" during an international conference.
The verdict Friday requires the state to treat Kazuki Hirano of Yokohama for his illness while incarcerated. Hirano had accused the victim, Rupert Sheldrake, of controlling his thoughts.
Hirano, 34, faces up to three years behind bars, less the seven months he has already spent, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The jury declined to convict Hirano of attempted murder or attempted manslaughter.
State District Judge Michael Vigil will sentence Hirano Dec. 5.
Sheldrake, an expert on mental telepathy, was stabbed in the leg April 2 as he finished his lecture at the 10th International Conference on Science and Consciousness at a Santa Fe hotel.
Sheldrake had said that Hirano told him the day before that he heard voices and thought people were trying to communicate with him telepathically.
"I'm sorry they didn't find him guilty of attempted murder because that's what I think he was trying to do," Sheldrake said before leaving Santa Fe to return to London. "I think he obviously needs help and I very much hope he gets it and I'm very concerned if he's released before he's been cured he could be a danger to himself and others."
Hirano's defense attorney, Sydney West, is skeptical about the quality of the mental health treatment Hirano would get while incarcerated.
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