Defense rejects 'insanity' mental exam request in Oxford case

By PATSY R. BRUMFIELD/Daily Journal

OXFORD — Defense counsel for a man accused of plotting a Columbine style attack on Oxford High School told a judge today that without an indictment against him, a request is premature for a mental evaluation on whether he was insane at the time of the alleged crime.

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys want a mental evaluation for a 19-year-old man charged with making threats in an online chat room to attack Oxford High School.

Joshua Brandon Pillault of Oxford was arrested Monday.

Prosecutors say in court documents that Pillault made threats against the school while playing the online game, “Runescape” to other players in a chatroom conversation. The threats were reported by a fellow “Runescape” player in Virginia who contacted the Oxford Police Department.

Pillault was allegedly using the screen name “Paul Gilbert” when he made the threats against the school.

In its motion Wednesday, prosecutors said they wanted Pillault moved to a Bureau of Prisons facility for the examination.

They claim Pillault made statements to agents he “sympathizes with shooters who conducted the Columbine massacre”.

Prosecutors said they need to determine if he is capable of understanding the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him.

However, Pillault’s attorney joined prosecutors in asking for a competency exam to take place locally. The response said moving Pillault from Oxford to a Bureau of Prisons facility to undergo the evaluation could take months and deny him his right to a speedy trial.