Canberra man who attacked ANU classmates with baseball bat …
March 04, 2019 17:37:06
A former Australian National University student who attacked his classmates with a baseball bat is facing five counts of attempted murder in the ACT Supreme Court.
Alex Ophel is charged over an attack that took place at the ANU campus in August 2017
He had posted to YouTube in the hours before, predicting the attack, the prosecution said
The defence argued Mr Ophel’s actions were those of someone who was mentally ill
Alex Ophel, 19, pleaded not guilty to the August 2017 attack by reason of mental impairment.
He admitted the attack took place but claimed he was suffering a psychotic episode at the time and believed he was being driven by a higher power.
ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold outlined a case challenging that account, pointing to evidence contained in internet searches Mr Ophel allegedly made in the lead-up to the attack, YouTube videos and a post on the site 4chan, in which he predicted the attack.
The post stated: “If I were you I’d keep an eye out down under, it’s going to get a bit batty down here.”
The post was accompanied by a picture of a baseball bat.
Mr Drumgold told the jury Mr Ophel also had a deep interest in an American, Elliot Rodger, who was responsible for shooting six people at the University of California in 2014.
“Certainly he had an interest in school killers,” Mr Drumgold said.