A man who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2013 shooting of an Alexandria, Virginia, police officer was granted a new competency evaluation before standing trial in Prince William County on arson and stalking charges.
In a brief hearing Friday in Circuit Court, Kashif Bashir repeatedly seemed to be trying to leave the courtroom, as his attorney sought, and was granted, a different psychologist to assess whether Bashir is competent to stand trial.
In 2014, Bashir was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the February 2013 near-fatal shooting of Alexandria police officer Peter Laboy.
In 2018, Alexandria Circuit Court Judge James Clark released Bashir, with conditions, from the mental hospital where he had been living since being acquitted.
Eight months after his release, in February 2019, Bashir was accused of setting one fire and trying to set another at the homes of two mental health professionals. One of them, Elizabeth Dugan, is a supervisor of the county’s Community Services Board, responsible for reporting on whether Bashir was complying with his conditional release, and had been seeing him five times a week under a court order.
Bashir will stand trial in Prince William County on felony charges of arson, attempted arson and making a false statement on a consent form to purchase a firearm, as well as nine counts of misdemeanor stalking, unauthorized use of an electronic tracking device and possession of a firearm by a person acquitted by reason of insanity.
Bashir was led into Judge Tracy Hudson’s courtroom Friday, walking slowly, shackled at the ankles, with his arms and hands crossed below his chin. As he approached the defense table, Bashir turned, apparently to retrace his steps, but was quickly and gently guided by a Prince William County sheriff’s deputy to his seat at the defense table.
During the brief hearing, Bashir repeatedly swiveled to get out of his chair and, at one point, slid off the chair to beneath the defense table. For the remainder of the hearing, the deputy kept an index finger resting lightly on Bashir’s shoulder to anticipate any sudden outbursts.
Bashir’s co-counsel, Mark Crossland, requested another psychologist to evaluate his client’s competence, since the current mental health expert appeared to have a conflict of interest because of her relationship with the CSB, which Dugan heads.
Assistant commonwealth’s attorney Teresa Polinske did not object, and the judge appointed Fredericksburg psychologist Mike Fray.
After Bashir’s arrest in Prince William County, Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter filed a motion to revoke Bashir’s conditional release, which remains on hold as the new case progresses.