A bail hearing will be conducted on Friday, Oct. 11, for a Lincoln High building engineer who police said threatened to shoot “any cop that looks at me wrong.”
Robert McKenna has been in jail with bail set at $1 million ever since he was arrested on weapons charges Sept. 26. And he isn’t going anywhere even if he can post that bail because Municipal Court Judge Bradley K. Moss on Oct. 4 ordered McKenna held on a psychiatric detainer.
Public defender Geoffrey Kilroy on Oct. 4 had argued his client needed a psychiatric evaluation and that all legal proceedings should stop until it was complete.
“This person is incompetent,” Kilroy said. “He is delusional.”
Assistant District Attorney Tracie Gaydos argued competency was not the issue at Friday’s hearing. She said the DA’s Office wanted to revoke McKenna’s bail to keep him in custody while his case makes its way through the courts. She said McKenna had made statements in jail “of a threatening nature.”
McKenna had been taken into custody at the Ryan Avenue high school for mental evaluation on Sept. 20, police said. While police were at the high school, McKenna’s pickup was searched and weapons were found, police said. He was arrested on the weapons charges Sept. 26 upon his release from Friends Hospital. His bail was set and he has been in the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility ever since.
Moss told the defendant the DA’s Office wanted to hold him without bail, and the judge explained to him the law that allowed that. Moss told McKenna he could be held if he were thought to be too dangerous to be allowed out of jail.
“I’ve owned guns for a while and nobody’s been hurt by them,” McKenna told Moss.
Last week, police circulated an internal departmental report that McKenna, while making a call at the prison, had threatened to “put two in the face” of any cop that “looks at me wrong.” The call had been monitored by police.
The Sept. 30 report from the Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit’s Prison Intelligence Group was widely circulated within the department. Gaydos played a recording of that phone call for Kilroy Friday.
A school district spokeswoman said police searched Lincoln on Sept. 20 because McKenna had access to most areas of the school. Police said no other weapons were found and that all the locks in the school were changed.
McKenna has been assigned to Lincoln since October 2007, according to district spokeswoman Deirdre Darragh. McKenna was first hired as a custodial helper in August 1986.
Joseph Blake, the Sheriff’s Department’s spokesman, said warrant unit deputies had gone to McKenna’s home on the 4300 block of Devereaux Ave. to execute a court-ordered eviction on Sept. 20.
Blake said the deputies had obtained information that led them to contact police, who along with the warrant unit, went to Lincoln High. Blake said McKenna was taken into custody, turned over to police and subsequently committed to Friends Hospital.
During Friday’s hearing, Gaydos said she wanted to present excerpts from a 198-page document found in McKenna’s pickup on Sept. 20, but Moss told her she would have to give a copy of the entire document to defense attorneys.
Instead, Gaydos played the recording of McKenna’s prison phone call in which he threatened to shoot police. At the beginning of the call, a recorded message warns the caller that his conversation will be recorded. After McKenna’s remarks are heard, the person he called reminded him he was being recorded.
“Bobby, stop it!” she said. “They’re taping this call.”
“I don’t care,” was the reply.
Most of the call, however, focused on McKenna’s requests to get a lawyer who could lower his bail.
McKenna is scheduled for a hearing Friday, Oct. 11, in Room 406 of the Criminal Justice Center, 13th and Filbert streets. ••