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Capitol Gunman Ruled Incompetent

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the gunman who opened fire in the U.S. Capitol last summer is incompetent to stand trial.

Judge Emmet Sullivan says that Russell Weston Jr. is incapable of understanding the charges against him and is incapable of aiding in his own defense.

Sullivan has ordered federal officials to place Weston in a secure, medical facility for a "reasonable period of time" not to exceed four months.

Earlier this month, prosecutors decided not to contest the defense argument that Weston was incapable of standing trial.

Weston is accused of gunning down officers John Gibson and Jacob Chestnut in a corridor of the Capitol on July 24.

The shooting incident began when Weston burst through a metal detector at a door on the East Front of the Capitol. According to prosecutors, he killed Chestnut there with an execution-style shot to the back of the head as the officer was writing out directions for a tourist.

Weston, 41, was shot several times by Gibson, who blocked the alleged gunman's entry into a suite of offices occupied by House Minority Whip Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

Officers Chestnut and Gibson died in the shooting, and a 24-year-old tourist from Virginia was slightly wounded.

On October 9, a federal grand jury indicted Weston on six counts in the shooting deaths of two policemen in the U.S. Capitol on July 24.

Weston, 41, who has a 20-year history of mental illness, was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and three counts of using a firearm.

Last fall, a court-appointed psychiatrist determined that Weston was incompetent to stand trial. Weston has not entered a plea.

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