Hearing held for Georgetown University student charged in campus - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Hearing held for Georgetown University student charged in campus ricin scare

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(Courtroom sketches by William Hennessy, Jr.) (Courtroom sketches by William Hennessy, Jr.)

The teen suspect in a ricin scare at Georgetown University has been ordered released from jail. Daniel Milzman went before a federal magistrate judge Tuesday afternoon and was found competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors claim the ricin Milzman allegedly made in his sixth-floor dorm room in McCarthy Hall at Georgetown University was lethal. His intention however was not clear.

Attorneys for the 19-year-old college sophomore from Bethesda, Md., say Milzman was suicidal and made the ricin from castor beans, paid for with cash, to kill himself in such a way that his parents, both physicians, would never know his death was by suicide.

But prosecutors say two months ago Milzman had threatened another undergraduate at Georgetown, writing in a Facebook message to the unidentified young man:

"You are the worst person in the world. I used to feel bad for you but then I realized it was pointless because you're garbage. You're scum. You have no redeeming qualities. You would be more useful to the world if you were chemically dis-incorporated and the elements that composed your body were sold to laboratories. Am I going to say goodbye? Only when you finally decide to jump off the Key Bridge. I'll be the one at the bottom waving … saying do a flip.”

Milzman's attorney called that simply a two-way spat started by the other student. And that Milzman's making of the ricin was a cry for help and not intended for anyone but himself.

More than three dozen of Milzman's friends and relatives, classmates from Georgetown and Walt Whitman High School came to the federal courthouse in Washington D.C. to show support for a teen never before in trouble with the law.

His attorney says Milzman has battled depression for years.

The judge ordered the teen released to his parents and then taken to the psychiatric ward at Sibley Memorial Hospital where he will remain for two weeks.

Prosecutors have asked for a 24-hour delay in Milzman's release while they appeal that ruling.

The case will now go to a grand jury.

Milzman faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.

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