Ex-UCLA lecturer found mentally unfit to stand trial in Colorado IG News

IG News Updates,

A former postdoctoral fellow at UCLA who was arrested nearly a year ago for allegedly bullying students and staff was last week found mentally unfit to stand trial by a judge in US District Court in Denver.

In a January 27 court filing, Judge Raymond P. Moore wrote that attorney for defendant Matthew Harris filed a motion on October 4 “for a determination of defendant’s competency to stand trial.”

An examination by a forensic psychiatrist, the judge wrote, found Harris to be “currently suffering from a mental illness or defect incapacitating her from proceeding.”

The filing states that the mental incapacity left the defendant “unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to properly assist in his defense.”

Harris, then 31, was arrested on February 1, 2022, and charged with criminal intimidation across state lines after federal prosecutors sent an 803-page manifesto and a video referencing the mass shooting to students and teachers was imposed.

According to court filings from May, he also threatened to kill a female professor. His students had also seen warning signs in the classroom and on the former lecturer’s YouTube channel.

Neighbors in Boulder, Colo., where Harris moved after being dismissed from UCLA and eventually arrested, and UCLA students have expressed frustration about the lack of warning from law enforcement officials about Harris’s violent threats.

The document states that Harris will be hospitalized and treated for mental illness to allow experts to determine whether her mental state can improve enough to warrant future testing.

The judge ordered a written report on Harris’ mental status by May 27 or four months after the filing.