Suspect in March stabbing attack on Sen. Paul's staffer in D.C. deemed by judge to be incompetent to stand trial

July 20, 2023
Ben Marquis

In March, a staffer for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was brutally attacked at random and stabbed repeatedly for no apparent reason while walking down a street in the evening with a friend following dinner at a Washington D.C. restaurant.

The suspect in that near-fatal attack, Glynn Neal, 42, was determined on Tuesday to be unfit to stand trial and was ordered to remain in custody and undergo additional psychological evaluations before his next scheduled court appearance in September, Fox News reported.

The senator's staffer, Phillip Todd, suffered multiple stab wounds in the egregious attack that caused serious and life-threatening injuries to Todd's abdomen, chest, and head, including penetration of his brain and lungs.

Charged with assault with intent to kill

At the time of the stabbing attack on a late-March Saturday evening, local NBC affiliate WRC-TV reported that Neal had been arrested shortly after the incident based on a cellphone that he had dropped at the scene of the crime.

He was charged with assault with intent to kill and detained in jail while his victim remained hospitalized to receive treatment for his grievous wounds.

Adding to the outrageous nature of the whole ordeal was the fact that Neal, just one day before his vicious assault on Todd, had been released Friday from a federal prison in Maryland after serving roughly a dozen years for several other previous crimes.

Deemed too incompetent to stand trial right now

The Hill reported that D.C. Judge Anthony Epstein ruled during a Tuesday court hearing that Neal was too incompetent to stand trial for the assault on the senator's staffer.

The judge further ordered Neal to remain in a D.C. jail pending additional evaluation of his mental status before a scheduled September 8 court hearing, during which the matter would be revisited.

The initial psychological evaluations had been ordered by Judge Epstein during a court hearing a week earlier, according to The Washington Post.

That is because, according to court documents, Neal allegedly explained to investigators after his arrest that "a voice was telling him that someone was going to get him for all the things he done. So he was waiting right there to get the someone."

That "someone" was Senate staffer Todd, who could be seen walking down a street on surveillance cameras that captured the unprovoked attack from Neal, who jumped out from around a corner and immediately began to stab Todd repeatedly without saying a word until he suddenly fled after Todd's friend punched and kicked the assailant to stop the bloody assault.

Ordered to undergo further psychological evaluation

The Post reported that in addition to Neal's own admission to the police that he had been hearing "voices" in his head, investigators also spoke to Neal's sister, the owner of the cellphone recovered at the scene, who told the police that her brother had "acted different" and been "talking to himself" since being released from federal prison just one day earlier.

Neal -- who served 12 years in federal prison following a 2011 conviction for "obstruction of justice, threats to kidnap or injure a person, and forcing a person into prostitution" -- was supposed to have been on supervised release in a halfway house but instead had been dropped off at a shelter and went to his sister's home, where he was arrested when police came to inquire about the recovered cellphone.

During that hearing last week, Judge Epstein denied a request from Neal's attorney for his release and instead ordered him to remain detained and be psychologically evaluated ahead of Tuesday's hearing. "This was a violent, random and unprovoked attack that almost resulted in the death (of the victim)," he said at that time. "There is clear and convincing evidence that no combination of conditions would protect the community."

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