New Jersey

Prosecutors to Request New Mental Health Evaluation in Alleged ‘Werewolf' Killing

The defendant claims he thought the victim was a werewolf

Prosecutors are expected to request that a man accused of killing a Virginia store manager undergo a new mental health evaluation following a mistrial.

A judge declared a mistrial on March 27 in the case of 34-year-old Pankaj Bhasin.

The defense claimed Bhasin killed Bradford Jackson at an Old Town Alexandria window business on July 13 because he thought the victim was a werewolf.

Attorneys for both the prosecution and defense said Bhasin viciously slashed and beat Jackson. Both also said he is mentally ill.

But they differed on Bhasin's state of mind on the day of the brutal killing.

“The question is not whether the defendant is mentally ill..of course he is,” a prosecutor said during closing arguments. “What matters is was he insane on July 13?”

The final two witnesses in the trial said Bhasin was legally insane at the time.

A forensic psychologist and forensic psychiatrist testified for the defense that Bhasin suffers from bipolar disorder.

They said they believe he was in the midst of a psychotic episode and suffering from delusions when he killed Jackson.

Bhasin had checked out of a psychiatric hospital just days before he left his New Jersey home and drove to the D.C. area, according to his attorneys.

Attorneys said his first stop was at the Four Seasons in Georgetown. The hotel staff called security when he told them, "People are going to die." 

He also said, "It's going to be a bad day."

Two hours later, he drove to Old Town and walked up a flight of stairs to Jackson's office at Window Universe.

Bhasin said Jackson asked him "What are you doing here? Get the f*** out," according to the forensic psychologist who testified.

Bhasin then allegedly picked up a box cutter and stabbed Jackson 53 times. He also beat him and broke his neck, police said.

“For Brad Jackson, it wasn't just a bad day. It was his last day ... because of what the defendant did to him," a prosecutor said during closing arguments.

Prosecutors said Bhasin's threat at the Four Seasons is proof of premeditation and urged jurors to find him guilty of first-degree murder.

But the defense claimed Bhasin had no idea what he was doing and called for him to be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

After days of deliberation, jurors remained deadlocked and couldn't reach a unanimous decision on the verdict.

Prosecutors are now set to ask the judge to allow a new assessment of Bhasin's mental state during a hearing on April 25.

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