August 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Trans stabbing suspect to receive 45-day psychiatric evaluation

Reginald Klaiber, gay news, Washington Blade

Reginald Anthony Klaiber is accused of stabbing a trans woman on a Metro train. (Photo courtesy of the Metro Transit Police)

A D.C. Superior Court judge on Friday ordered a Beltsville, Md. man charged with stabbing a 15-year-old transgender girl on a Metro train on July 30 to undergo a 45-day psychiatric evaluation and treatment regimen.

Magistrate Judge Lori Parker issued the order at the request of defense attorney Veronice Holt, who’s representing Reginald Anthony Klaiber, 24. Metro Transit Police last week charged Klaiber with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the stabbing and classified the incident as an anti-transgender hate crime.

The United States Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, upheld the hate crime designation when prosecutors filed charging papers in court.

The evaluation and treatment were expected to take place either at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a city-run psychiatric facility, or at the D.C. jail.

At a status hearing Friday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bruckmann said the government had no objections to Holt’s request for the 45-day psychiatric evaluation.

A police affidavit filed in court in support of Klaiber’s arrest says Klaiber allegedly taunted the 15-year-old victim repeatedly, saying “you are a boy… you got a dick” before pulling out a knife and stabbing her in the back on a Green Line train as it approached the Fort Totten Station.

The affidavit says Klaiber, who is also identified in court documents as Reginald “Kaliber,” called the victim and two friends accompanying her “faggots” and threatened to stab them.

The victim was treated and released from Washington Hospital Center for a non-life threatening stab wound, according to Metro police.

Parker’s decision to order the mental health evaluation came two days after another judge approved a request by Holt that Klaiber undergo a one-day preliminary mental health exam. The findings of that exam, which were presented to the court on Friday, were not publicly released.

Phyllis Jones, a spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health, which has jurisdiction over St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, said a 45-day evaluation routinely involves treatment as deemed appropriate by the hospital’s mental health staff.

She said the mental health professionals conducting the evaluation present their findings to the court on whether a defendant is mentally competent to stand trial.

Holt told the court on Friday there was a reason for what she said was Klaiber’s lack of competency at the present time but didn’t disclose what the reason was. She said she expects her client to be “restored to competency” in 45 days.

Parker scheduled a mental observation hearing for Sept. 26.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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