A college student in Connecticut who was charged with stabbing two other students has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
San Diego, California resident Jake Wascher, 21, was facing charges that include first-degree assault and criminal attempt to commit murder following an incident on campus that led to a temporary lockdown earlier this year.
A judge ruled that prosecutors had proved that Wascher committed the crimes of first-degree assault and carrying a dangerous weapon after the attack on March 31. However, he also determined that Wascher’s lawyer proved that he lacked criminal capacity due to mental disease or defect.
Wascher is “in the midst of a psychotic episode and suffered from paranoid delusions" that the victims were out to harm him,” the judge ruled.
Wascher and two other students were at a campus apartment when the stabbing happened, police said. Both were transported to area hospitals - one in critical condition, the other stable - for treatment of wounds suffered as the three reportedly acted out a scene from a movie for a class assignment.
Both students suffered stab wounds to their chest and back, police noted. Wascher initially fled the apartment on foot before being apprehended. He was later treated for non-life-threatening injuries as a precaution.
“We are deeply saddened by the serious incident involving the assault of two students on campus this afternoon,” the University posted in a statement following the stabbing. “The injured students were immediately transported to area hospitals for treatment and law enforcement secured campus. A third student (Wascher) was located off-campus and has been taken into police custody. Our thoughts are with these students and their families during this difficult time.
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