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People v. O.H. (St. John's Gunman Case)

Case Conclusion Date: 10.29.2007

Practice Area: Violent Crime

Outcome: Case dismissed pursuant to CPL Section 730.30

Description: On Sept, 28, 2007 O.H. was arrested for bringing a Musket onto the campus of St. John's University in Jamacia, NY. The media jumped on the story immediately as the incident happened just months after the deadly attack at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va. Within 45 minutes of Mr.Hariman's arrest, the family contacted Mr. Colleluori. Our office jumped in before even being officially retained and contacted the Police to stop their questioning of the client. Although the Police did not take Hariman right back to the station house in order to avoid his having the opportunity to "Lawyer up" we e-mailed, faxed and called 911 and 311 to make sure our demand to have questioning cease be timed in. Thereafter our office worked with the press and the client's family to get his story out to the world. O.H. was a paranoid schizophrenic unable to distinguish reality from his dreams. He was a brilliant student and exceptionally bright boy. He was a witness to the events of 9-11-01 standing only a block away from the disaster site. In fact O.H. was a tragic victim of 9-11-01. His fragile world completely torn apart like so many other New Yorkers that day. Suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder, O.H. volunteered for months at the disaster site, helping firemen and rescuers, and victims. Unfortunately he lost all support when he went on to study at an Ivy League University. His untreated PTSD slowly began to become delusional. He was unable to study or get along with others. He also was diagnosed with a physical debilitation. In 2006, O.H. withdrew from University. In spring of 2007, his physical condition became worse and he had to undergo surgery. Thereafter, he was unable to keep food and his medicine for the Paranoid Schizophrenia down. Now he was completely without pharmaceutical treatment. His PTSD worsened bringing on the deluded decision to bring the musket to school. Mr. Colleluori, drawing on his knowledge of Psychology and mental disorders was able to explain the diseases and causes to the press and we began to quickly see sentiment in the City swing toward sympathy for O.H.'s plight. After making a motion to find the client incompetent to stand trial, Colleluori retained his own Psychologist to help make the determination. We attended all the Psychological testing and were able to use our intimate knowledge of the interviews to convince the District Attorney's office to join in the application to find O.H. incompetent. The charges against him were thereafter dismissed.

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