The 17-year-old Jewish youth from Dimona who stabbed four Arabs two weeks is capable of standing trial, but because of a disagreement between the police and his lawyer he has still not completed a psychiatric examination to determine his level of responsibility for his actions.
On Thursday the police filed a "prosecutor's notice" with the Be'er Sheva District Court against the young man, who is legally still a minor and whose name cannot be released, who is charged with four counts of attempted murder in a suspected revenge attack. He is accused of stabbing and attempting to kill three Palestinian construction workers and one West Bank Bedouin man, who works for the city.
Two victims of the stabbing were moderately wounded, while the other two suffered light wounds.
Last week the court extended the detention of the teen for eight more days in order for the minor to undergo psychiatric observation to determine whether he was responsible for his actions during his stabbing spree, in which he stabbed the first man and then the other three some 45 minutes later.
The police wanted to place the youth in the psychiatric hospital in Be'er Sheva, but they were not allowed by the hospital to have a guard accompany him all the time – and the police refused to allow him to remain in the hospital without being guarded. Instead, the police found an alternative psychiatric hospital in Sha'ar Menashe that would accept the youth and a guard. But the suspect’s attorney, Itamar Ben-Gvir, refused to agree to the arrangement.
Last week Ben-Gvir told the court that his client had been sent for testing after his arrest and it was clear to experts that the teen suffers various severe problems and that experts have recommended he be held for psychiatric observation.
Ben-Gvir told the press before the court hearing Thursday that police's actions were unacceptable, as they did not follow an explicit court order to transfer the youth for psychiatric observation. In addition, Ben-Gvir said he feels the authorities are trying to hide the young man's psychiatric condition and hold a show trial.
Last week Ben-Gvir told the court that just a week earlier his client’s family and friends had tried to have him hospitalized in a mental health facility, however they were turned down. From what is known of the suspect, he appears to be a school dropout with social problems going as far back as elementary school, which led to his being sent from Dimona to Eilat. He apparently began seventh grade but did not continue, lived at a horse ranch for at-risk youth in Eilat and worked at odd jobs and giving pony rides to tourists on the promenade. The suspect’s father, who was a retired policeman, died a few years ago, and his older brother is in prison. Friends he made during this time say they knew he was mentally unstable.
The police said the youth had psychiatric problems and was known as a heavy user of the synthetic cannabinoid known as “Mr. Nice Guy.”
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