CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man who told a mental health counselor that he thought about going to an area high school around Halloween to shoot people will go on trial next week.
Shawn Patrick Foglesong, 40, of Sissonville was indicted by a Kanawha grand jury on a charge of making terrorist threats after he made that statement while a patient at Highland Hospital last September.
The counselor notified police, and Foglesong was arrested a few days later at a relative's residence near Kelly's Creek. He has been in custody at South Central Regional Jail on a $125,000 bond since then.
Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey, who will preside over Foglesong's trial, denied a request from defense attorneys to dismiss the indictment on the argument that his rights had been violated.
The issue centered on whether the statements Foglesong made while in counseling were true threats that should have resulted in criminal action.
Gail Michelson, court-appointed public defender, said, "The statement he made was in response to counseling. It was made in a therapeutic environment and as a response to narrowly focused questions.
"It was part of a therapeutic dialogue," Michelson said. "And it should not be considered a serious expression of an intent to do harm."
Police said Foglesong indicated he was having homicidal ideation and was thinking of "killing someone up close and personal." He told the counselor he might wear a mask to a Sissonville High School football game and open fire to draw police fire on himself."
Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Drummond said it was up to the jury to decide if those were true threats or not. The judge agreed.
"It's a question for the jury if it's a terrorist threat or not," Bailey said. "It's not protected speech."
Bailey approved a request from Drummond for Foglesong's complete medical records from Highland Hospital. Defense attorney John Sullivan objected to that request, saying those records should be kept private.
The judge said, "Based on the unique circumstances of this case it would be appropriate for the state to have those records."
Jury selection is scheduled to get underway Monday morning.Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.