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Published: Tuesday, 11/14/2000

Man charged in 1999 slaying of psychiatrist

A mentally ill man who police said fatally shot a Toledo psychiatrist last year was indicted for murder yesterday by a Lucas County grand jury.

Police said William E. Vanzant, 41, shot Dr. Wakil Kahn on April 21, 1999, in the doctor's office at Unison Behavioral Health Group, 525 Hamilton St.

Dr. Kahn, 55, died Sept. 18 at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. He had been in a coma since the shooting.

In July in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, Judge Frederick McDonald found Vanzant incompetent to stand trial on the original charge of felonious assault. He cited two examinations that said Vanzant continued to suffer from schizophrenia.

The judge determined there was clear and convincing evidence that Vanzant shot Dr. Kahn. He ruled that the court would maintain jurisdiction over Vanzant for at least 11 years, the maximum amount of time he could have received on the felonious assault charge and for using a gun during the crime.

Vanzant is being held at the Twin Valley Psychiatric System in Dayton.

John Weglian, chief of the special units division of the Lucas County prosecutor's office, said if Judge McDonald makes the same determination regarding the murder charge, the court could maintain jurisdiction of Vanzant for the rest of his life.

“We think it would be important for the court to retain jurisdiction for that period of time, especially when you're talking about someone who has been classified as not restorable' to competency, Mr. Weglian said.

Dr. Khan, a native of Pakistan, was in his office in the Hamilton Building when Vanzant walked into the building about noon on April 21, 1999, carrying a lunchbox, police said.

Vanzant told a receptionist he wanted to see Dr. Khan and went to the psychiatrist's office.

He took a handgun from the lunchbox and fired six shots. He then returned to the front of the building, unloaded the shell casings from the revolver, laid the gun on the receptionist's desk, and waited for police.

He told the receptionist Dr. Kahn's treatment had adversely affected his sexual performance.

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