Mental evaluation ordered in attempted murder case

Inmate charged with attack on Clallam Bay Corrections officer

Abdinjib Ibraham.

Abdinjib Ibraham.

PORT ANGELES — A judge has ordered a new competency evaluation for a man accused of trying to kill a Clallam Bay Corrections Center officer in 2016.

Abdinjib Ali Ibraham, who suffers from schizophrenia, refused to take his court-ordered anti-psychotic medication for two weeks in March while in custody at the Washington Corrections Center near Shelton, according to Thursday testimony.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brent Basden ordered the state Department of Corrections to monitor Ibraham’s medication regimen — and administer forced medication, if necessary — before he makes a final ruling on Ibraham’s mental capacity to stand trial.

“This has taken a long time, and I believe that the state system bears some responsibility in this,” Basden said near the conclusion of a day-long hearing Thursday.

“I’m prepared to inconvenience the supervising staff at Shelton, or wherever he’s at, so that somebody is accountable and that we don’t have this ongoing kind of problem.”

Ibraham, 33, is charged with second-degree attempted murder for an attack on former Clallam Bay Corrections Center Deputy Terry Breedlove on Jan. 25, 2016.

Ibraham’s case, filed in June 2018, has been stuck in a cycle of competency restoration and deterioration in the absence of anti-psychotic drugs.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Ibraham was unprovoked when he used a metal stool from his cell to repeatedly strike Breedlove on the back of the head until the 51-year-old lawman man was unconscious in a pool of blood.

Breedlove survived the attack but sustained a traumatic brain injury, court papers said.

In 2017, Ibraham was ordered to take up to 40 milligrams of Zyprexa, which is used to treat psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia, during an initial period of competency restoration at Western State Hospital.

Under state law, a defendant must have the capacity to understand the nature of the charges and to assist his or her attorney at trial.

Ibraham was deemed competent to stand trial in February 2019, but his mental health deteriorated when he returned to prison and stopped taking Zyprexa, court papers said.

He was then ordered back to Western State, where he resumed court-ordered medication, and was found competent to stand trial in January 2020.

Ibraham stopped taking his medication between March 3 and March 17 this year, according to testimony from prison staff. A forensic psychological evaluation from March 10 indicated Ibraham’s competency had faded.

“Taking the totality of this case as a whole, I am confident that there have been times that Mr. Ibraham has lacked competency,” Basden said Thursday.

“I believe that that was true on March 10. I’m not confident that that is the same situation today.”

“So I’m going to direct an updated evaluation by the state before I make the ruling,” Basden added.

“I think we’ll just go in and do it again.”

A review hearing was scheduled for June 4.

Basden’s previous medication order included a requirement that Ibraham be injected with anti-psychotic medication should he refuse to take Zyprexa in pill form.

It was established Thursday that Ibraham refused his daily pills between March 3 and March 17 this year and was not injected with forced mediation.

“He said ‘(I) just don’t want it,’” said Dr. Amy Mok of the state Department of Corrections.

Mok, who was in charge of Ibraham’s medication regimen, said she was not notified that Ibraham had not taken his medication after 10 days.

“I don’t know what happened,” Mok said.

“I normally get notified if a patent of mine misses a medication for three days, and I prefer to be notified if they miss a medication for two days.”

After the discovery that Ibraham had missed two weeks worth of medication, Mok said she directed staff to notify her if he misses a single dose of medication.

Ibraham never refused his medication in 2020, according to testimony.

Ibraham, who was born in Somalia and immigrated to the United States when he was 10, was convicted in King County on four counts of vehicular assault for striking a vehicle occupied by a family while fleeing from Seattle police.

He is scheduled to be released in that case in June 2022.

Ibraham was interviewed March 10 at the Shelton prison by defense expert Dr. Kenneth Muscatel, a forensic neuropsychologist who has worked on behalf of prosecutors and defendants in criminal cases around the state.

During that interview, Ibraham spoke in a “trumpeting voice” and repeatedly stated that he was “going back to Somalia,” Muscatel said Thursday.

“He displayed symptoms of a degree of delusional thinking that are unusual, and dramatic, and significant,” Muscatel said.

“He seemed to be out of touch with any sense of reality.”

Defense attorney Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender, Ibraham’s court-appointed attorney, attended the March 10 interview.

“He said that Mr. Gasnick and the devil were both his stepfather,” Muscatel said.

“His aspect was very blunt and very flat, very fixated, very perseverative. If these symptoms were valid and representative, he was clearly not competent.”

Mok said Ibraham first started hearing voices seven years ago when he was using PCP, or phencyclidine, also known as angel dust.

“His narrative was just an ongoing phenomenon,” Muscatel said of the March 10 evaluation.

“If his presentation was credible, he would have been acutely psychotic.”

Should Ibraham be found competent to stand trial, Gasnick said the case “may very well have a mental health component as a defense.”

John Hillman, the assistant state Attorney General who is prosecuting the case, raised the possibility that Ibraham had been exaggerating his lack of competency.

“There is some evidence that when he is being evaluated for competency that he presents a certain way,” Hillman said.

“When Dr. Mok sees him just in the regular course of business,” he added, “he’s not exhibiting any signs of psychosis.”

Ibraham faces a life sentence if convicted of the attempted murder under the state’s three strikes law.

_________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

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