Judge visits jail for hearing of allegedly violent, mentally ill man accused of confronting police with gun

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Abdul Jalil K. Hussein

In an unusual step, a judge went to the jail in person to hold court for an allegedly violent and mentally ill inmate this week, instead of having the inmate transported to the courthouse.

At the hearing, Douglas County District Court Judge James McCabria ordered a psychological evaluation to determine whether Abdul Jalil K. Hussein, 34, of Lawrence, is competent to participate in court proceedings, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to the district attorney.

Hussein, jailed on $700,000 bond, was the subject of a recent police standoff where he reportedly used a gun to threaten a Lawrence police officer, who discharged his weapon but didn’t hit Hussein, police and court records allege.

The psychological evaluation had been requested by Hussein’s appointed attorney, Charles Whitman, according to Wright Kunard.

Hussein’s next hearing is scheduled for July 23 in McCabria’s usual courtroom.

Neither McCabria’s assistant, the DA’s office nor the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office would state why the decision was made for the judge to go to the jail for the hearing.

However, Hussein refused to leave the jail to appear at a hearing that had been scheduled earlier in the week, court records indicate.

The jail was designed with a courtroom to be able to have hearings there, said Sgt. Kristen Channel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. She said at times other hearings have occurred there but she did not know the last time it happened.

Hussein has three pending criminal cases with 15 counts in all, mostly felonies.

Hussein is accused of fighting with and twice threatening a Lawrence police officer with a gun on June 29 at his house at 620 N. Stowe Court, according to court charges.

photo by: Ashley Hocking

Police respond to an incident on Stowe Court on Friday, June 29, 2018.

The police officer fired but didn’t hit Hussein, who retreated into the house and sparked a police standoff that ended in his arrest about three and a half hours later, according to police.

Hussein also was arrested Dec. 12, 2017, after allegedly firing shots into the air outside his house and causing an hourslong standoff with police.

According to court records, he was involuntarily committed to a state psychiatric hospital after that incident. He was charged in March with being a mentally ill person in possession of a gun and discharging a firearm in public, and was out on $1,000 bond in that case when the June 29 incident occurred.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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