Peter Greenspun and Muhammad Elsayed represented Pankaj Bhasin, who was charged with first degree murder in the City of Alexandria following the tragic death of a businessman in his Old Town Office in July 2018. They asserted the insanity defense and the case proceeded to trial on March 18, 2019. The evidence showed that at the time of the killing Mr. Bhasin was suffering from severe bipolar disorder and psychosis. Numerous experts, including five testing psychiatrists and two experts on the issue of insanity, testified about his manic condition, mental health history, and the extreme illness he was suffering at the time. The jury deliberated for three days but remained deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous verdict. With the jury hung, the judge finally declared a mistrial on March 27.
Mr. Bhasin did not have a significant mental health history until mid-June 2018. His condition took a downward spiral over a short period of time. There was no connection at all between Mr. Bhasin and the deceased. If you believe someone you know is possibly suffering from unexplained behaviors and changes in their mental status, you are urged to immediately seek help for that person.