ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- A former taxi driver who shot and almost killed an Alexandria police officer was found not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday.
A judge ruled that Kashif Bashir is not guilty for shooting Officer Peter Laboy in the head because the preponderance of the evidence shows Bashir was psychotic.
The judge, nearly in tears as he spoke of the permanent brain damage inflicted on Laboy, said that it's a heartache for the family, but mental health experts unanimously agreed that Bashir was insane at the time of the shooting.
Laboy, a father of four, suffered severe brain damage. His wife Suzanna Laboy sobbed openly after the verdict was read.
"I have spoken to Officer Laboy. His reaction was one of disappointment. But I will tell you, we had prepared him for that possibility given the opinion of the experts," Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Porter said.
The judge ordered Bashir remanded into the custody of the Commonwealth's Commissioner of Behavioral Health. He'll go back to Central State Hospital for a 45 day evaluation of his current mental condition. Then there will be a hearing to determine whether he should continue to be held or released back into society. The prosecutor will recommend he continue to be held, but the judge will have to listen to the doctors.
During the trial, the prosecution argued that Kashif Bashir knew what he was doing and intended to kill Officer Peter Laboy, but defense attorneys convinced the judge that Bashir was so insane when he shot Laboy that he cannot be held criminally responsible.
A psychologist testified in court that Kashif Bashir heard voices telling him to rape women and to shoot police the day that he shot Officer Laboy.
Prosecution wraps case against cop shooter: http://on.wusa9.com/1pIToj4
Bashir was dangerous because he was insane and didn't understand the consequences of his actions, defense attorneys argued in closing arguments.
A psychologist testified that two months before shooting Officer Laboy, Bashir underwent a transformation in which his brain was essentially hacked or re-programmed. The psychologist also said that on the day of the shooting in February 2013, Bashir heard voices instructing him to rape a women at a nearby design store, to gun down a police officer and to lead the cops on a high speed chase.
Bashir allegedly thought Laboy wasn't a human at the time, said the psychologist. Bashir told her that he thought Laboy was a computer program and would appear elsewhere.
On cross examination, the psychologist admitted that she only talked to Bashir once, for three and a half hours. He spent three hours of that time spewing his symptoms, she testified.
The prosecutor asked the psychologist whether or not the fact that Bashir could ignore voices was an indication he understood consequences. "Not necessarily," she replied.
The Alexandria community has rallied around Officer Laboy, whose brain injury is severe and permanent. He sat in the courtroom throughout the trial, just feet from the man who shot him. Laboy suffers from traumatic seizure disorder as a result of the shooting and will never recover, a neuro-psychiatrist said Wednesday.