Man accused of planning attack 'in the spirit of Dylann Roof' transferred to NY facility, mental evaluation extended

Man accused of planning attack 'in the spirit of Dylann Roof' transferred to NY facility, mental evaluation extended

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The man who was arrested in Myrtle Beach in February for reportedly purchasing a gun and planning to use it to commit an attack "in the spirit of Dylann Roof" has been transferred to a New York correctional facility, and a request to extend his psychiatric evaluation has been granted.

According to a document from the Federal Bureau of Prisons dated September 8, Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell was designated to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York on September 5, 2017.

The letter, sent from the warden of the facility to Florence-Division Untied State District Judge R. Bryan Harwell, states that they generally ask for 45 days from the date of arrival in order to provide the court "a comprehensive and thorough report." However, due to the recent volume of cases, the warden requested an additional 30 days, setting the end date of the evaluation at November 18, 2017. The letter states that report will then be prepared and provided to the court within two weeks, on December 3, 2017.

The facility's request was granted by Judge Harwell on September 15.

According to an order filed in the U.S. District Court on June 20, the examination of Benjamin McDowell is for the purpose of determining whether or the defendant is "presently suffering from a severe mental disease or defect and was able to appreciate the nature and quality of the wrongfulness of his acts."

Additionally, the exam will determine whether McDowell is suffering from a mental disease or defect and whether or not he was "legally insane at the time the alleged offense occurred," according to the order.

McDowell is accused of meeting with an undercover FBI agent on Feb. 15 and purchasing a .40-caliber Glock and hollow-point ammunition.

The suspect came on the FBI's radar after allegedly posting to Facebook an anti-Semetic screed referencing Dylann Roof, which included the statement: "they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline and trying to run us off of this Earth you can post pictures of f****** Viking and swords all the s*** you want to post if you ain't got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof did you need to shut the f*** up…"

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