A federal magistrate entered a not guilty plea Thursday for the “non-responsive” Kansas felon charged in the robberies of the Bellagio casino and a Las Vegas bank.
Scott Carmitchel, 34, refused to answer questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe, several times laughing loudly through a spit mask as he sat shackled in a wheelchair next to his public defender. Several U.S. marshals were standing nearby.
“The record will reflect that the defendant is non-responsive and therefore the court will enter a plea of not guilty for him,” Koppe said.
Carmitchel, wearing bright yellow jail garb, also refused to acknowledge his identity and whether he understood the charges against him.
A Sept. 29 trial has been set for Carmitchel, but first he must undergo a psychological evaluation in federal custody.
Earlier this month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen ordered the evaluation after Carmitchel refused to answer questions in court and his lawyer said he refused to communicate with her.
Leen said the mental evaluation was needed to determine whether he is competent to stand trial and was competent at the time the alleged crimes were committed.
FBI agent Henry Schlumpf testified previously in court that he identified Carmitchel through fingerprints and photos of surveillance video at the Bellagio and the bank. Carmitchel also “absolutely” identified himself in the surveillance photos during an interview, Schlumpf said.
Carmitchel, who is accused of spending stolen money on prostitutes and a shopping spree, is facing one count of interference with commerce by robbery at the Bellagio and one count of armed bank robbery at a City National Bank branch on East Tropicana Avenue.
He is alleged to have stolen $43,500 in the Bellagio heist on July 25 and $4,355 in the July 22 bank robbery.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson has said he will defer to federal prosecutors and drop local charges against Carmitchel.
Contact Jeff German at email@example.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.