DETROIT — A mentally ill man charged with placing a bomb outside a Detroit federal building can be forcibly medicated to try to make him competent to face trial, an appeals court said Tuesday.
Gary Mikulich, 45, has refused to take medication since his arrest in 2011, according to the government.
“While we should not take lightly the decision to medicate a defendant against his will, we also should not discount the government’s interest in bringing an accused would-be terrorist to justice,” said a three-judge panel at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Mikulich has not demonstrated that any special circumstances of this case weaken the government’s clear interest in trying him for the serious crimes of which he stands accused,” the court said.
Mikulich is charged with leaving a tool bag with explosive components outside the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit, 500 miles from his home in the Upper Peninsula. The building houses the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies. A guard noticed the bag and brought it inside where it sat for three weeks before it was scanned and destroyed by a bomb squad in March 2011.
Mikulich, who has a degree in electrical engineering, has a history of schizophrenia and bizarre rants against the FBI. He may offer an insanity defense, his attorneys have said in court.
Pat Mikulich said she hasn’t talked to her son in a few months but believes medication is the only way to improve his mental health. He’s being held at a federal prison in Butner, N.C.
“I don’t see any other way of getting this problem resolved,” she said Tuesday.