SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate in San Francisco today ordered a full psychiatric evaluation of a public relations consultant accused of gathering the essential ingredients of an improvised bomb in his apartment.
Ryan Kelly Chamberlain II, 42, was arrested Monday evening following a three-day nationwide manhunt after FBI agents allegedly found the explosive materials in a search of his Nob Hill apartment in the city.
U.S. Magistrate Nathanael Cousins ordered the evaluation, which may take several days, at the request of defense attorney Jodi Linker, and said it must take place in a locked facility with Chamberlain retained in custody.
“I think there’s a need, from the pretrial services report and from what I’ve seen in court, for a psychiatric evaluation,” Cousins said.
“Based on the charge, I would not be inclined to release him” during the evaluation, the magistrate said.
Chamberlain, who appeared in court in orange jail clothing, said nothing during the hearing.
Linker suggested the evaluation, which may take several days, be conducted in a locked area of San Francisco General Hospital. She said that was the recommendation of a defense psychiatrist who met with Chamberlain on Thursday. She did not disclose any details of the psychiatrist’s report.
Prosecution and defense attorneys were scheduled to return to Cousin’s court at 1:30 p.m. today to discuss whether the U.S. Marshals Service considers it feasible for Chamberlain to be studied at the San Francisco hospital rather than a federal prison hospital.
Prosecutor Philip Kearney noted that the report by the court’s pretrial services staff said that Chamberlain has no previous history of mental health treatment or use of drugs to treat mental illness. The report, prepared after an interview Thursday, has not been made public.
Kearney said he didn’t oppose a mental health evaluation but said, “When I read the pretrial services report, I see little or no basis for…a mental health issue” thus far.
Kearney, an assistant U.S. attorney, also confirmed that an additional search of Chamberlain’s apartment was carried out Thursday, but said the results have not been made public.
Cousins ordered most documents in the case unsealed today, but said an X-ray of the alleged improvised bomb should remain under seal.
After the FBI announced on Sunday that Chamberlain was wanted on suspicion of possessing explosives, Chamberlain on Monday posted what appeared to be a suicide note on social media detailing his struggles with depression and trouble with family and work.
He is charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of possessing an illegal destructive device. The charge carries a possible maximum sentence of 10 years in prison upon conviction.
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