Judge says man arrested at Trump rally can visit with mother

A British man charged in connection with an alleged threat against Donald Trump at a Las Vegas rally can visit with his mother, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Michael Steven Sandford, 20, his mother and his lawyers will meet at an undisclosed time inside a second-floor lockup at the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse.

In granting the visit, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach called the arrangement “a very unique circumstance.”

Sandford will be separated from his mother and lawyers by a mesh screen, through which they can communicate. Assistant Federal Public Defender Brenda Weksler said the meeting could help facilitate a negotiation to return Sandford to England for mental health treatment.

“It would be really good for us to all sit down in the same place,” Weksler said, adding that Sandford was “in a very delicate mental state.”

Lynne Sandford, who lives outside London, has mounted a media campaign to highlight the mental illness of her son and her concerns about his safety in federal custody in light of the issue. She was not present at Tuesday’s hearing.

In court papers this week, Weksler said the younger Sandford never has been incarcerated and suffers from “serious psychological problems.”

Authorities have acknowledged that Sandford has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, and Weksler said he has been on a suicide watch.

Sandford, who had been living out of his car with an expired visa, was arrested June 18 at Treasure Island, the site of the Trump rally, after he tried to grab a police officer’s gun in an attempt to shoot the Republican presidential nominee, according to authorities.

He is alleged to have told authorities that he traveled from California to Las Vegas to kill Trump.

A federal grand jury later charged him with two counts of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and one count of impeding and disrupting the orderly conduct of government business and official functions.

At the time of his arrest, Sandford was unemployed and being supported financially by his mother in England, authorities said.

Sandford is set to stand trial before U.S. District Judge James Mahan in October.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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