Jake Wascher, 21, from San Diego, now faces years of forced psychiatric rehabilitation at Whiting Forensic Hospital, an institution with maximum security for people who have been acquitted of crimes based on mental illnesses
A former drama student at Hartford University accused of stabbing two of his fellow students with a knife while filming a movie in March, was found not guilty of attack charges on Friday after a judge discovered that he was currently experiencing a psychotic episode sorrow.
Jake Wascher, 21, from San Diego, is now facing years of forced psychiatric rehabilitation at Whiting Forensic Hospital, an institution with maximum security for people who have been acquitted of crimes based on mental illness.
The verdict was made by Judge James T. Graham after a day-long hearing last week, following a testimony from a psychiatrist who presented evidence to support the allegations of defense. Wascher suffered a & # 39; short psychotic disorder & # 39; during the attack on March 31.
Graham met Wascher five times and looked at several medical documents prior to the hearing, leading him to conclude that the student was "in the midst of a psychotic episode and suffering from paranoid delusions."
Such delusions include the belief that his victims wanted to harm him, that the world was about to end, and that he was being watched not to tell anyone.
Thomas No, 19, from South Windsor, suffered the most serious injuries in Wascher's attack, sustaining stab wounds on his chest and back and leaving him in a critical condition.
Brandon Gasparino, 21, from New Fairfield, also suffered three stab wounds to his back and one to his chest.
Wascher was "in the middle of a psychotic episode and suffered from paranoid delusions" during the March 31 attack, a judge ruled
Such delusions, including believing that his victims wanted to harm him, would almost end the world and that he was being watched to tell no one
Wascher attacked the two students in the apartment on the Gasparino campus during a rehearsal for a class assignment, in which Wascher was an actor.
The two victims shot in a bedroom in the apartment when the attack took place.
"While we were setting up the cameras, Jake Wascher came in with the knife and stabbed me and Thomas in," Gasparino said Friday, the Hartford Courant reported. "I assumed it was a joke because it didn't make sense that I was stabbed.
Gasparino said he landed on the floor, on his back, trying to defend himself against Wascher and shouted that he should get away from me & # 39 ;.
Another occupant of the apartment walked in and Wascher fled into the forest a few hundred meters southeast of the campus.
He was arrested two hours later after a police officer saw him hiding in the trees.
Hartford University remained closed while the authorities conducted the investigation.
Both men testified that they were shocked by the attack, insisting that no conflict had occurred before and that the couple had never had problems with Wascher before. He also said nothing during the attack, both men said.
"He seemed a bit spacious, but nothing special," Gasparino told the court.
Witness Will Moser, 19, agreed that Wascher & # 39; staggered & # 39; and & # 39; did not behave normally & # 39 ;, pacing back and forth before he struck.
Wascher attacked the two students in the apartment on the Gasparino campus during a rehearsal for a class assignment, in which Wascher was an actor
Hartford University remained closed while the authorities conducted the investigation
Dr. John Bonetti from the Institute of Living testified in the days prior to the attack that Wascher showed signs of illness and paranoid thoughts.
Bonetti said the suspect believed that the end of the world was approaching and worried about his safety. He also believed that he could determine someone's intention to harm him based on the size of their students and their food choices.
On the day of the attack, he believed his two victims were about to kill him and he heard a song telling him to kill them first.
In a video show before the judge of Wascher's interview with investigators after his arrest, he made several remarks that were inconsistent with the testimonies of his victims.
In a video show before the judge of Wascher's interview with investigators after his arrest, he made several remarks that were inconsistent with the testimonies of his victims. He told them at one point that they were a scene from the movie & # 39; The Butterfly Effect & # 39; (seen above) had simulated, and that his character is trying to hurt people, that's where the recordings were. & # 39; However, No and Gasparino said the Wascher character would be in a coma while other actors were reviewing data on a computer screen. Neither of the victims mentioned The Butterfly Effect
He told them at one point that they had a scene from the movie & # 39; The Butterfly Effect & # 39; and that his character is trying to hurt people, and that's where the filming was & # 39 ;.
No and Gasparino said, however, that Wascher's character would be in a coma when other actors were viewing data on a computer screen. Neither of the victims mentioned The Butterfly Effect.
& # 39; I don't know. I felt unsafe for whatever reason, got paranoid and pulled a knife, & Wascher told the police. 'I do not know why. I wanted to do it at the time, but I don't know why. & # 39;
After Friday's hearing, Wascher was committed to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Care (DMHAS) to help staff evaluate their current beliefs about mental health.
In the months following the attack, Wascher's condition returned to normal when he received medication, officials said, but after missing a dose of antipsychotic medication in prison, he wrote a suicide letter, jumped from the second floor and then made a correction to officer.
In a hearing scheduled for December 23, Judge Graham assesses the findings of the DMHAS and is likely to record Wascher in custody of the State Psychiatric Security Review Board, who will follow Wascher's treatment and determine when to release him from custody.
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