August 7, 2014

Lady’s Island woman who took gun to school committed to federal prison psychiatric unit

Alice Boland, accused of pointing a loaded gun at administrators outside the Ashley Hall school in Charleston, has been committed to a federal psychiatric institution indefinitely.

A Lady’s Island woman accused of pointing a loaded gun at administrators outside of a Charleston school and pulling the trigger has been committed to a federal psychiatric institution indefinitely, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Alice Boland, 30, has been at Federal Medical Center Carswell — a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, which also houses female inmates in a psychiatric unit — for the past year as doctors evaluated her mental health. Boland will remain detained there for an indefinite period after a psychiatric evaluation determined she suffers from a mental illness, a news release said.

The release did not specify Boland’s illness, but U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said that she could harm herself or others if released.

Results of the evaluation were sealed by the federal court, so the U.S. Attorney’s Office can release only limited information about Boland’s status, the news release said.

Boland is accused of bringing a loaded gun to Ashley Hall, a private school for girls in Charleston, on Feb. 4, 2013. She faces federal charges of making a false statement to purchase a firearm, illegally possessing a firearm after having been adjudicated as mentally incompetent, possession of a firearm in a school zone, and attempted discharge of a firearm in a school zone.

The federal charges will remain pending unless a court finds she is no longer suffering from a mental illness that would cause a risk to herself or others if she were released, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Boland also faces state charges that include attempted murder, two counts of pointing a firearm, unlawful carrying of a firearm, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Attempts Thursday to reach the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which is prosecuting the state charges, were unsuccessful.

Following the Ashley Hall incident, the General Assembly passed the “Boland Bill.” It requires that those found by a court to be mentally ill be reported to an FBI database used to conduct background checks for gun sales.

Authorities say Boland had purchased the gun three days before the school incident from the Walterboro Gun Shop. She cleared a federal background check despite a history of mental illness recorded in court documents. Authorities said her court history had not been reported.

In 2005, she was charged with threatening the lives of President George W. Bush and other federal officials. A judge declared Boland mentally incompetent, and the charges were dismissed when she pleaded guilty by reason of insanity in 2009.

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