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Ex-Student Faces Judge For Threat to Kill Pusey

By Richard T. Cooper

Joseph Steyskal, the former Divinity School student accused of threatening the life of President Pusey and committed to a Federal mental hospital last February, will be arraigned in U.S. District Court this morning, Gael Mahoney, assistant U. S. District Attorney, revealed last night.

Steyskal has now been certified competent to stand trial, Mahoney said and must now enter a plea of guilty or not guilty this morning before Federal District Judge William T. McCarthy.

The Divinity School ex-student, who was arrested by the F. B. I. February 16 in Sun Valley, Idaho, for allegedly sending a letter which threatened the University president's life because Steyskal was denied a professorship to teach religion, originally came before George C. Sweeney, Chief Justice of the District Court in February.

Orders Examination

Sweeney ordered Steyskal to be examined by a Boston psychiatrist, since government attorneys felt that he might not be mentally competent to stand trial, Mahoney said. The psychiatrist pronounced Steyskal incompetent and he was sent to a Mental Hospital for Federal prisoners in Springfield, Missouri.

Declare Competent

Early this month, the prisoner was declared competent by officials at the Springfield hospital and was returned to Boston to face trial, Mahoney said.

Steyskal will go before Judge McCarthy late this morning or possibly early this afternoon, Mahoney predicted, in Room Five on the 12th floor of the U. S. Post Office Building in Boston.

Sending threatening letters through the mails is a Federal offense, Mahoney stated.

Farnsworth Files Complaint

Dr. Dana L. Farnsworth, Director of the University Health Service, filed the initial complaint against Steyskal after Pusey reportedly received the threatening letter.

Farnsworth said Steyskal's psychotic condition led the ex-Divinity student to believe he had been '"called upon" to preach a new philosophical doctrine. Only when his illness led him to pick on one person did Steyskal become "too dangerous to remain at large," Farnsworth said.

Steyskal was a student at the Divinity School in 1953 and 1954.

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