$500,000 Bail Set in Hostage Incident
The man accused of holding Hillary Clinton campaign workers hostage was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail, after prosecutors depicted him as a hardened criminal with two rape convictions on his rap sheet.
Leeland Eisenberg, 46, was charged with six felony counts and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation after allegedly taking six hostages, including an infant and mother, at a storefront campaign office for Clinton in Rochester, N.H. The Friday incident froze the entire Democratic campaign for hours, forcing Clinton and other candidates to evacuate offices and take additional security steps both in New Hampshire and elsewhere.
Eisenberg told the campaign workers that he had a bomb strapped to his chest, but authorities said the device had been built with road flares.
"I think it's very, very important, to keep this man under lock and key for now until we get to the bottom of his mental health problems," Rochester District Court Judge Daniel Capiello said, according to the Associated Press.
Prosecutor Janice Rundles asked Cappiello to set the high bail, noting that Eisenberg was sentenced to 10 years for rape in Worcester, Mass., in 1985, but apparently escaped the next year and committed another rape, which resulted in an 11- to 20-year sentence, according to the AP.
Massachusetts officials said Friday that Eisenberg was released from prison in March 2005, but state law prevented them from releasing further details.
Public defender Randy Hawkes portrayed Eisenberg as a deeply troubled man who, he said, "heard voices and saw a movie in his head telling him he had to sacrifice himself" to shine light on the flaws in the health care system.
"He asked me to extend his profound apologies," Hawkes added, according to the AP. Cappiello also ordered Eisenberg to undergo a psychological evaluation. Eisenberg appeared by live video link from the local jail, but did not address the court.
-- Shailagh Murray
Posted by: readlife | December 3, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse
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