Judge orders mental exam in OHS threat case

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – A federal judge this week ordered a mental exam for an Oxford man who admits he planned a Columbine-style attack on Oxford High School.
Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills ordered the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to conduct a psychiatric or psychological evaluation of Joshua Brandon Pillault to determine if he has a mental illness or defect that could be treated.
In his two-page order, the judge said he also wants professional opinions about sentencing alternatives “that could best accord the defendant the kind of treatment he needs.”
Pillault, 20, of Oxford pleaded guilty recently to one count that he knowingly threatened to use fire and explosives to kill and injure people and damage property at the school.
He reportedly said he planned to carry out the threat on April 20, 2013, the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine school shooting in Colorado.
Pillault was indicted last October on two counts associated with the threats made over the Internet.
He attended OHS but did not graduate. Authorities said he was the subject of numerous disciplinary actions at the school.
If convicted on both charges, he faced up to 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
Mills said he wants Pillault mentally evaluated so that the appropriate decisions could be made when he comes up for sentencing.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com