Judge orders mental exam for Lufkin man connected to kidnapping plot

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A federal judge has signed off on a motion to have a Lufkin man who has pleaded guilty in a kidnapping-for-hire plot undergo a psychiatric exam.

Federal Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn signed the order on July 28.

Al Charanza, the attorney for Jason McLaughlin, 48, filed the motion, stating McLaughlin "appears to be suffering from a mental disease or defect or other mental condition at this time." Charanza went on to state McLaughlin has previously been diagnosed with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A mental-health professional will now examine McLaughlin at a US medical center for federal prisoners.

Authorities say McLaughlin hired someone to kidnap a man and bring him from Louisiana to Texas. Once in Texas, McLaughlin had plans to kill the kidnapped man himself, according to his initial arrest affidavit.

McLaughlin pleaded guilty to the charge on May 5. he filed a hand-written motion on May 9, stating he wanted to withdraw his plea of guilt because he did not get to examine all the evidence in the case.

Charanza filed a response to McLaughlin's own motion on May 31, stating McLaughlin had six hours to review the evidence.

According to court documents, McLaughlin stated on May 31 that he no longer wished to withdraw his plea.

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