Man charged in alleged plot against Cuyahoga Falls High School will undergo competency evaluation
Trial scheduled for Aug. 10 canceled
A Cuyahoga Falls man accused of planning to set off an explosive device at Cuyahoga Falls High School will undergo an evaluation to determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial.
Allen M. Kenna, 19, is charged with attempted use of an explosive device and interstate communication of threats. A grand jury in February indicted Kenna on those charges. He then pleaded not guilty to the offenses at an arraignment. His case is before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
Judge Patricia A Gaughan recently canceled the pretrial scheduled for Aug. 4 and the trial slated for Aug. 10 to allow time for Kenna to be evaluated.
Kenna’s attorney, Noah Munyer, on July 8 requested that his client be evaluated for competency and sanity.
“The basis for this motion is that defendant is exhibiting signs of current mental health issues while at CoreCivic in Youngstown in Federal Detention,” wrote Munyer in his motion to the court. “Counsel has met with and discussed defendant’s issues with his family and friends and believes a comprehensive evaluation is required. Counsel has reviewed all available discovery and believes that evidence provided by the government supports this mental health evaluation request. Based on personal contact, counsel is concerned about Mr. Kenna’s ability to assist in his own defense.”
Gaughan on July 9 granted Munyer’s request, stating, “there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may be so mentally incompetent as to be unable to understand the proceedings against him or properly assist in his own defense.”
Gaughan ruled Kenna should be evaluated for competency and to determine whether he was insane at the time of the alleged offense. Gaughan ordered that Kenna be transferred to a facility that can perform a competency evaluation. The report on Kenna’s competency to stand trial must be made 30 days from him being committed to the facility. Gaughan ruled that a report on Kenna’s sanity at the time of the alleged offense must occur 45 days from when he is committed to the facility for this assessment.
Munyer told the Falls News-Press on Tuesday that Kenna has not yet been transferred to a facility for these evaluations.
A Cuyahoga Falls High School custodian reported seeing Kenna Jan. 6 walking around the building after hours and using a cell phone to take pictures. When approached, Kenna reportedly fled. He was identified from images taken by school security cameras, and it was determined he was not a student at the school.
According to a complaint filed in federal court, police later executing a search warrant of Kenna’s Monroe Avenue home found items usable for producing an explosive device. Kenna was arrested and charged Jan. 9 in Stow Municipal Court with third-degree felony making a terroristic threat and misdemeanor criminal trespassing. Those charges were dismissed once the case moved to a federal level.
The federal complaint states Kenna allegedly produced additional videos at the school during other after-hours visits. In one of those, Kenna allegedly talked about placing an explosive device below a window as a diversion from the “real target.” In an electronic diary the complaint says police found, Kenna allegedly wrote he had been thinking for years about committing violence against others, including random people in public and family members, and that he knew someone who could provide him with guns.
Kenna is also charged with making threatening communications to a Kansas elementary school. It is alleged he called the Fort Riley, Kansas, Sheriff’s Office and claimed he was holding a hostage inside of the school and that he would injure any person attempting to enter the school in response to this threat.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.