Ex-Marine who shot at Pentagon claims mental ills
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Lawyers for an ex-Marine from Virginia facing 25 years in prison for firing shots at the Pentagon, the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and other buildings say their client is mentally ill.
Yonathan Melaku (meh-LAH-koo) pleaded guilty earlier this year to a series of overnight shootings at various military buildings in northern Virginia. No one was injured. In the plea deal, he agreed to a 25-year sentence.
In court papers filed Wednesday, Melaku's new lawyers ask for a court-ordered mental examination. They say their own psychiatrist has concluded Melaku is schizophrenic.
The motion does not seek to overturn Melaku's conviction.
Melaku was arrested last year when he was spotted after dark in Arlington National Cemetery, setting off a security scare.
He is scheduled to be sentenced July 20.