Cabdriver accused in police shooting declared unfit for trial

By Erich Wagner

The cabdriver accused of shooting an Alexandria police officer in the head in February was declared mentally unfit to stand trial Thursday.

Alexandria Circuit Court Judge James C. Clark handed down the order, which will send 27-year-old Kashif Bashir to a state mental hospital for rehabilitation.

Bashir allegedly shot Officer Peter Laboy during a traffic stop February 27 at the intersection of S. St. Asaph and Wilkes streets. Laboy was flown to an area hospital, but has recovered measurably since the incident, appearing publicly and in apparent good health at an awards ceremony for first responders last month.

According to The Washington Post, defense attorney Emily Beckman asked for a psychiatric evaluation of her client after he thought “people shape-shifted and communicated with him telepathically.”

The evaluation leading to Thursday’s decision, written by psychologist Anita Boss, remains sealed.

Clark’s order says that if Bashir regains competency within the next six months, he will return to stand trial.  But if he has not been restored to competency by January 2014, the director of the mental hospital will make a recommendation to the report as to whether Bashir “remains restorable to competency or whether the defendant should be released.”

Neither Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Molly Sullivan nor Beckman were immediately available for comment Friday.

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