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Baden's case granted state psychiatrist

Baden's case granted

state psychiatrist

By Katherine Shim

In a pre-trial conference yesterday, Judge Paul A. Chernoff granted to the prosecution the use of a state psychiatrist to evaluate Steven A. Baden '92.

Assistant District Attorney Crispin Birnbaum said an insanity plea may be Baden's primary defense to the charges he faces of burning a dwelling and five counts of armed assault with intent to murder.

Baden has pleaded innocent to the charges, brought after he admitted to setting a fire in the "kosher suite" in Burton-Conner House Jan. 18.

"The defense intends to rely on a defense of insanity," Birnbaum said, "and so far the defendant [Baden] has only been evaluated by a psychiatrist of his own choosing."

The status hearing date was set for March 25, and the trial will occur June 3.

Baden was arrested Jan. 18, after police investigators found a rolled-up newspaper in the suite, burnt on one end, and the "pour mark" of gasoline in front of all the suite doors except the door to Baden's room. Later that day, Baden admitted to setting the fire.

Baden is currently on pre-trial probation with the condition that he stay away from MIT and all prosecution witnesses.