TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida engineer accused of abducting his two young sons and sailing with them to Cuba was declared legally insane in court Wednesday and will likely undergo treatment for mental illness before he can stand trial.
Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe said Wednesday that he’ll decide on a treatment facility for Joshua Hakken on March 4. He’ll also examine psychological reports on Hakken’s wife, Sharyn.
The results of Joshua Hakken’s mental evaluation have not been made public and Tharpe did not discuss them explicitly in court. But during a bench conference with the attorneys, Tharpe said, “He, the doctors agree, is insane.”
Prosecutors released evidence showing Joshua Hakken believed the federal government was targeting him because he had uncovered a secret plot to poison Americans with airplane chemicals.
Florida law defines insanity as having a mental infirmity, disease or defect so severe that it left the defendant incapable of knowing the consequences of his actions or that it was wrong. The burden of proving insanity resides with the defense.
Authorities say the couple kidnapped their two young sons from Sharyn Hakken’s parents in April after they lost custody following run-ins with police. The Hakkens sailed to Cuba, where they were apprehended by U.S. authorities and sent back to Tampa.
The grandparents now have custody.