‘Jesus Bandit’ case continued

LIHUE — A hearing for a man known as the “Jesus Bandit” was continued Wednesday.

Richard Leibman, 39, was scheduled to be in court for an evidentiary hearing in front of Judge Kathleen Watanabe. But his lawyer, Kai Lawrence, asked the matter be continued.

“We’re asking to postpone motion hearing until Monday,” said his lawyer, Kai Lawrence.

Leibman, who is facing burglary, assault and escape charges after police say he kicked officers and scaled a wall while they were trying to arrest him in February 2016 was not present for the proceedings. So Lawrence said he waived his client’s obligation to appear in court.

Leibman’s non-appearance in court is not new.

He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and a personality disorder, and has refused to participate in court proceedings since October 2015.

In 2013, Leibman was scheduled to fly to Texas with his mother on the condition that he seek outpatient mental health care when he left the airport. Leibman had been released from Kauai County Correctional Center by a Fifth Circuit Court judge to continue treatment. No charges were filed against him.

In March 2014, Leibman was arrested on a Princeville golf course and charged with second-degree criminal trespassing and third-degree assault.

In January 2016, he escaped through an unlocked door at the Hawaii State Hospital and was later found on the beach fronting an Oahu hotel after a brief foot chase.

A month later, Leibman failed to appear at a status hearing. A bench warrant for $10,000 was issued for his arrest. Police later located him in a parking lot in Poipu, and he was taken into custody.

Leibman will be back in court April 24, both for the evidentiary hearing and for the doctors do discuss their opinions about his fitness and restorability.

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