BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man fighting extradition to Scotland where he faces attempted murder charges for allegedly poisoning the wine of a fellow college student should not be sent overseas because he is mentally ill, his lawyer told a U.S. appeals court.
Alexander Hilton, 22, of Princeton, Mass., takes several medications for numerous psychological conditions and is a suicide risk, attorney Monica Shah told a three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston on Wednesday.
There is no guarantee that if he is taken into custody by U.S. or British authorities that he would continue to receive proper treatment, she said.
“It’s like pulling the pin from a grenade and waiting for it to explode,” she told the court. Hilton’s U.S. constitutional rights would also be violated if returns to Scotland, she added.
But the federal government could obtain information about Hilton’s ailments and ensure he gets proper treatment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Heinrich countered.
Hilton was studying economics and computing at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, in 2011 when he spiked another American’s wine with methanol, also called wood alcohol, according to prosecutors.
The students were playing drinking games in a dormitory before a ball, and Hilton told the student, Robert Forbes, of Virginia, that the red wine was a gift, authorities said. Forbes suffered severe nausea and headaches, temporarily lost vision and would have died had he not gone to the hospital, according to prosecutors.
Hilton is free on bail in the care of his parents.
Hilton is appealing a lower court’s ruling that he should be extradited to Scotland.
The appeals court did not immediately rule.