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Psychiatric test ordered for Newtown calls suspect

Wednesday - 7/16/2014, 6:18pm  ET

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A federal judge in Connecticut ordered a psychiatric assessment Wednesday of a Venezuelan man charged with making threatening phone calls to Newtown residents in the days following the December 2012 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Wilfrido Cardenas Hoffman, who faces up to five years in prison if convicted, was arrested last month at Miami International Airport while traveling to Mexico from Venezuela.

At his initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in New Haven, defense lawyers told the judge that Cardenas has received psychiatric care at home in Venezuela. The psychiatric evaluation was ordered after defense attorneys sought an evaluation for appropriate treatment.

An attorney for Cardenas declined to comment after the hearing.

On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother and gunned down 20 children and six educators at the school before killing himself.

Prosecutors say Cardenas made the threatening calls two days after the December 2012 shootings. Authorities say that in a few calls, he claimed to be the shooter and threatened to kill the person he called.

"This is Adam Lanza. I'm gonna (expletive) kill you. You're dead. You're dead. You hear me? You're dead," the caller said, according to authorities. In another phone call, Cardenas is accused of saying: "This is Adam Lanza. I'm gonna kill you. You're dead. With my machine gun. You're dead (expletive)."

Cardenas was ordered to remain held ahead of a probable cause hearing, which was scheduled for Sept. 16.


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