Mezzacappa was found guilty on March 9 of lying to Pennsylvania State Police in an attempt to frame an innocent black man. Judge Stephen Baratta, who presided at the trial, ordered a psychiatric evaluation and deferred sentencing until April 21.
According to the DA's petition, state police in Kutztown were recently contacted by a private citizen. He told them she had no intention of appearing at her sentencing. She allegedly said she "would escape court or not go and wait in her basement for PSP or Constables to show up and pick them off one at a time."
I have a friend who happens to be a police officer, and he personally saw her buy both a shotgun and a glock recently. I have another friend who saw her open-carrying at Wegman's, of all places. So she definitely owns and has a penchant for displaying her firearms.
Was her statement just an idle threat? I doubt it. She put some thought into what she said. She allegedly handed this person an envelope and told him to open it if something happened to her. This person opened it and it contained her Will as well as a list of her bank accounts, passwords and pin numbers. This certainly sounds like she was planning to go out shooting.
According to ADA Bellafato, Mezzacappa "poses a significant risk to herself and to the community."
Bellafatto asked Judge Baratta to order Mezzacappa to surrender all firearms within her possession (good idea!). Although Bellafato noted that the Judge has the power to impose all kinds of other conditions, she limited herself to asking that Mezzacappa surrender her firearms.
Judge Baratta immediately issued a bench warrant. Mezzacappa was picked up yesterday by alert deputy sheriffs and brought before him. He ordered her to relinquish her firearms, but her bail was reinstated.
This does not mean she's at large. If officials consider her a threat to herself or others, she will be committed for at least a brief period.
I see no indication that PSP in Kutztown have filed charges for terroristic threats. She is alleged to have threatened to kill law enforcement. The private person to whom she made this statement was terrorized enough to contact state police, so there was intent to cause terror. State police were concerned enough to tag her as armed and dangerous. But she made the statement in Berks County, so whether she's charged is their call.
One thing is clear. Mental illness and guns are often a bad combination.
Updated 9:23 am