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Suspect Too Ill to Be in Court, Prosecutors Say

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The 88-year-old white supremacist charged with murder in the killing of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum this month was discharged from George Washington University Hospital last week but is too ill to appear in court, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

Since Friday, James W. von Brunn has been treated in a secure ward at United Medical Center, authorities said. At a brief hearing yesterday, federal prosecutor Nicole Waid said doctors indicated that von Brunn might be well enough to attend a court hearing early next week.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola set a hearing for Tuesday morning.

Authorities say von Brunn fatally shot security guard Stephen T. Johns in the chest with a rifle at the museum's 14th Street entrance June 10. Two other guards returned fire, and von Brunn was struck in the face, authorities said.

Von Brunn's attorney, A.J. Kramer, declined to comment after the hearing.

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