August 13, 2014 at 11:10 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Suspect in trans stabbing faces 45-day psychiatric evaluation
Reginald Klaiber, gay news, Washington Blade, psychiatric evaluation

Reginald Anthony Klaiber is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the stabbing of a trans teen aboard a Metro train last month. (Photo courtesy of the Metro Transit Police)

A D.C. Superior Court judge last week ordered a Beltsville, Md. man charged with stabbing the 15-year-old transgender woman 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 have 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.

At a status hearing on Aug. 8, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bruckmann said the government had no objections to Holt’s request for the 45-day psychiatric evaluation, which was expected to take place at the D.C. Jail where Klaiber is being held.

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 also called the victim and two friends accompanying her “faggots” and threatened to stab them while chasing them on the Fort Totten Station platform after the train stopped and the doors opened.

Court records show that Klaiber is also identified in some court documents as Reginald “Kaliber.”

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 Aug. 8, were not publicly released.

Phyllis Jones, a spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health, which has jurisdiction over St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a city-run psychiatric facility, said a 45-day evaluation routinely involves treatment as deemed appropriate by psychiatrists provided by the city. She said that in Klaiber’s case, where the evaluation and treatment are taking place at the jail, the psychiatrists would be from Unity Healthcare, a private healthcare organization under contract with the jail.

She said mental health professionals associated with St. Elizabeth’s would make the final decision on whether Klaiber is mentally competent to stand trial.

Holt told the court last 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.

Jones said the reason appears to be a drug dependency problem that public court records show Klaiber is currently facing.

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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