Lufkin man connected to kidnapping plot determined mentally competent

Jason McLaughlin (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Jason McLaughlin (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A federal judge has ruled a Lufkin man who has pleaded guilty in a kidnapping-for-hire plot is mentally competent to stand trial.

Jason McLaughlin, 48, has been at a US medical center for federal prisoners after a judge signed an order in July.

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.

According to court documents, a hearing was held on Nov. 1 and a doctor's report concluded McLaughlin did not appear to suffer from a mental disease.

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.

HIs attorney, Al 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.

After that, Charanza filed a motion stating McLaughlin "appears to be suffering from a mental disease or defect or other mental condition at this time."

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