Prosecutors want a judge to add new rules to the court order governing the release of a man who killed an Alexandria store manager because he believed the victim was a werewolf.
Pankaj Bhasin was institutionalized and spent three years in a mental health facility after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2019. His lawyers said he was in a psychotic state when he stabbed Brad Jackson, a complete stranger, more than 50 times because he thought the victim was a werewolf.
Prosecutors now say Bhasin’s Facebook dating profile misrepresents what has happened in recent years. In a court filing, they included a screenshot as an example. He describes Bhasin as “an easy-going adventurer who believes in universal connection” who “recently returned from two years of travel”.
The post was first reported by a woman who wrote: ‘A word of warning for those of us on dating apps. She went on to describe the details of Brad Jackson’s death.
Sarah Bryen spotted and reposted the warning. She was one of the victim’s friends.
“What I noticed was that a person who had killed my friend, had been locked up in a mental hospital for several years now, was now going out online on the internet with a profile that basically said, likes to have fun , easy going,” she said. .
This representation on social networks also concerns prosecutors. They filed a motion to change the terms of the court order governing Bhasin’s release into the community.
News4 was first to report in June that Bhasin had requested and was granted parole from the mental health facility. The judge’s order requires him to take medication, wear a GPS monitor and receive house calls from mental health workers. But the order does not prevent Bhasin from accessing social media.
Now prosecutors are asking the judge to change the rules to ban Bhasin from social media or require software to allow those overseeing his release to monitor his posts.
“Because the acquitted may meet potential romantic partners while not only concealing, but actively lying about their recent history, these individuals may be placed at risk during a … period when the acquitted is making their first transition into the community” , states the prosecution’s motion.
A few days after the women started sounding the alarm, the Facebook profile was deleted – the messages are no longer available.
“I’m glad he’s no longer available,” Bryen said. “Other women have told me they’ve seen him on Bumble, on Hinge, on other sites, so even if one of them is taken down, there’s no telling he won’t do everything just not another profile.”
A hearing at the prosecutor’s request is scheduled for Thursday.
News4 has reached out to Bhasin’s defense attorney for his response, but has yet to hear back.