Friday, November 30, 2007

Eric Hunt Changes His Plea Again - To "Not Guilty Due To Insanity" - In February 2007 "Attack" On Elie Wiesel; March 21st Trial Date Set

A New Jersey man accused of accosting Holocaust huckster Elie Wiesel in a San Francisco hotel pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday, and his jury trial was scheduled for March. Full story published November 29th, 2007 in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Eric Hunt, 23, is charged with attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, battery, stalking and two counts of elder abuse, all felonies. He is accused of traveling across the country to confront Wiesel, the 79-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner. He is accused of pulling Wiesel off an elevator at the Argent Hotel on February 1st, 2007. Hunt later said that he had wanted Wiesel to admit the Holocaust never happened.

Click HERE to review all previous posts on this case.

Defense attorney John Runfola said Hunt entered the plea after prosecutors offered a deal that would put him in state prison for several years. Runfola said his client did not physically harm Wiesel and needs treatment for a mental illness - bipolar disorder with psychosis - that was undiagnosed at the time he went after the author. He said Hunt is delusional, not anti-Semitic.

Bilen Mesfin, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said Hunt's charges, which include hate crime allegations, are serious enough to warrant state prison. "Our focus is on protecting the victim as well as the community at large," she said.

Hunt remains jailed in a psychiatric unit, where he is doing well on anti-psychotic drugs, Runfola said. His trial is scheduled for March 21st, 2008.

Commentary: This is the third time Eric Hunt has changed his plea. On July 4th, he initially pleaded not guilty due to insanity, then later changed his plea to not guilty. But after lesbian judge Ksenia Tsenin refused to re-direct the case to Behavioral Health Court and directed a felony trial on November 14th, Hunt changed his plea again.

It's obvious by now that Eric Hunt is not the American equivalent of either Ernst Zuendel or Germar Rudolf. He is a mixed-up young man in need to serious help, although his courage in confronting the Holocaust huckster Elie Wiesel is commendable. Consequently, I don't expect to be posting any more on this case in the foreseeable future unless a major development occurs. I wish Eric Hunt well in getting the help he needs.

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