Andrew Alessi, the man arrested Aug. 22 after locking himself for three hours in the cockpit of an American Eagle passenger plane at Baton Rouge Metro Airport, will undergo psychiatric evaluation at a federal prison, according to a judge’s order.
U.S. District Judge James J. Brady filed the order Friday at the request of J. David Bourland, Alessi’s attorney.
Alessi, 37, of Baton Rouge, has been held at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison since he surrendered to authorities at the airport.
No one was injured during the incident, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan A. Stevens obtained a grand jury indictment against Alessi the following day on a single charge of interference with security personnel. The charge carries a possible penalty of 10 years in prison.
Alessi is scheduled for an initial court appearance on that charge Tuesday at 10 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Docia L. Dalby.
Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said Aug. 22 that someone called police that morning and reported that Alessi wanted police officers to kill him.
And Bourland told Brady that relatives of Alessi told the Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 22 that Alessi “was about to commit suicide.”
Bourland also told the judge he has learned that Alessi “believes he is (a) deity on earth, that God is instructing him as to what to do and where to go, that unseen voices are speaking to him, directing his activities.”
The defense attorney added his belief that Alessi is not “capable of entering any type of plea at this point.”
After Alessi’s arrest and jailing at Parish Prison, he was booked a second time on Aug. 25 on an additional allegation of felony theft, 19th Judicial District Court records show.
According to an affidavit of Brian Dedon of the Sheriff’s Office, Alessi borrowed a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban from a woman and then sold the vehicle to a man for $7,000.
Dedon wrote that the buyer paid Alessi $3,500 but withheld the remaining half of the purchase price until title to the vehicle could be transferred to him.
Dedon alleged Alessi “was aware that the vehicle owner had no intent to transfer title of the vehicle to him or anyone else.”
Alessi “stated that he had already spent the money he had acquired” from the buyer, Dedon reported.