Mental health at issue in case of Obama threat

An attorney for a former Colorado Mesa University student who allegedly threatened to assassinate President Barack Obama is seeking to push back scheduled trial dates.

Mental health issues in the case of Mitchell Kusick, 20, of Westminster, will require “more time for effective preparation than is required in the average case,” Denver attorney Marci Gilligan wrote in a court filing last week. Kusick’s reported medical issues aren’t specified in the filing.

Federal prosecutors aren’t objecting to the request.

Kusick, who is being held in federal custody in Denver, is slated for jury trial in Denver starting April 1.

Kusick was arrested Nov. 9, 2012, after the Westminster Police Department forwarded alleged statements made by Kusick to the U.S. Secret Service. The statements were allegedly made after Kusick was taken into protective custody and hospitalized Oct. 29 at Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge.

At the time, Kusick was enrolled as an online student at CMU and he told federal agents had a full academic scholarship to the school. He also claimed to have trained to shoot an assault rifle while practicing at a rifle range in Grand Junction.

CMU spokewoman Dana Nunn said Friday that Kusick was no longer enrolled.

Kusick told a federal agent he wanted to shoot schoolchildren around Halloween at Standley Lake High School and that he was obsessed with the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings and the Jessica Ridgeway abduction case in Denver, according to a federal complaint.

He also said he’d been tracking Obama’s visits to the Denver metro area and that he “wanted to go down in history as the guy who killed Obama.”

He also claimed he heard voices, experienced hallucinations and had suicidal thoughts.

The agent wrote Kusick explained he dreamed of attending West Point military academy and was “very upset” when he didn’t get a congressional nomination.

“Kusick stated when he is released from the hospital, he wanted to head to the mountains and go skiing,” the complaint said.


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