Boland pleads not guilty to gun crimes; psychiatric evaluation ordered

gsmith@islandpacket.comMarch 22, 2013 

Alice Boland

A woman with a history of mental illness who showed up at a Charleston school with a gun will undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if she was sane at the time of the incident and competent to stand trial.

Alice Boland, 28, of Lady's Island did not appear in a Charleston courtroom Friday but was arraigned on charges stemming from a Feb. 4 incident in which she is accused of pointing a gun at two school officials and repeatedly pulling the trigger. The gun did not fire because there was no bullet in the chamber, police say.

Boland's mother, Dellann Boland, entered a plea of not guilty on her daughter's behalf, according to court records.

Alice Boland will now undergo a psychiatric evaluation because she "may presently suffer from a mental disease or defect which would render her mentally incompetent" and "to determine the existence of insanity at the time of the offense," according to the psychiatric order signed by U.S. Magistrate Bristow Marchant.

A federal grand jury in Charleston charged Boland earlier this month with giving a false statement to purchase a firearm, possession of a firearm in a school zone and attempted discharge of a firearm in a school zone. It also charged her with illegally possessing a firearm because she once was committed to a mental institution or "had been adjudicated as mentally incompetent."

Boland also faces state charges.

Her purchase of a handgun days before the school incident has sparked efforts on both state and federal levels to shore up gun laws to prevent some with mental illnesses from buying guns.

Boland pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 2005 charges that she threatened President George W. Bush and others.

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