Man ordered to mental evaluation

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Suffolk man who is charged with faxing a bomb threat to a local attorney and also allegedly told jail officials he would kill a judge has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

Louis Dell Highsmith, 71, was arrested on the bomb threat charge on April 11.

On April 7, according to court documents, written bomb threats were faxed to local attorney Martin Speroni’s office, the General District Court and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

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According to an arrest warrant filed in Suffolk General District Court, the fax included such phrases as “bombs away,” “man your battle stations,” “incoming incoming incoming” and “drop Big Bertha!” The fax said the event would happen on April 8, the day after it was sent.

On April 7, bail had been set for Highsmith on previous charges of trespassing and failure to appear on the trespassing charge.

In General District Court on Wednesday, a judge granted a request by Highsmith’s lawyer, Jean Todd, to have him evaluated.

“Counsel is in receipt of numerous documents which appear to demonstrate confusion as to the role of various actors in the judicial process and in the manner in which the court operates,” Todd had written in court documents.

The documents also display irrational behavior and paranoia, she wrote.

Also according to court documents, Highsmith made a threat against a judge while in jail after being arrested on the bomb threat charge.

When a jail officer and a nurse engaged him in conversation, he began ranting and then said, “I caught the judge committing fraud and that’s the reason I’m in here, and when I get out I will kill him,” according to the court documents.

The General District Court judges have recused themselves from the case. A substitute judge from Chesterfield presided over Wednesday’s hearing.

A review date is set for July 20 following Highsmith’s evaluation by a mental health professional.