D.C. "Shotgun Stalker" Requests Release from Mental Institution

Saint Elizabeth's Mental Hospital
D.C. "Shotgun Stalker" Requests Release From Mental Institution, Says Reports
Saint Elizabeth's Mental Hospital in Washington, D.C.

(CBS/WUSA) More than a decade after James Edward Swann horrified the nation's capital - cruising through neighborhoods, callously shooting people at random with a 20 gauge shotgun - he appeared in court to ask for a 12-hour release from the mental institution where he's been since he was declared not guilty by reason of insanity.

Swann, dubbed "The Shotgun Stalker," killed four people and wounded five others in the winter and spring of 1993, reports CBS affiliate WUSA. A year later he was declared not guilty by reason of insanity after psychiatrists said he was driven by voices that prompted him to kill, according to The Washington Post.

Since then Swann was sent to Saint Elizabeth's Mental Hospital in southeast Wash., D.C. where he's been treated for paranoid schizophrenia.

At a hearing in D.C. Superior Court Tuesday, Swann and his attorneys asked Judge Fred Ugast to allow him a 12-hour furlough so that he can spend time with his father, James E. Swann Sr., who lives in Concord, North Carolina.

The elder Swann testified that his son would be under his supervision. "He doesn't disobey me," he said according to the Post. If granted the release, Swann's father said he would take the time to go "fishing, crabbing, bowling" with his son, reports the paper.

Prosecutors, government experts and Saint Elizabeth's experts are opposing Swann's motion for conditional release, although defense attorneys claim Swann is "not the same person he was in 1993."