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Another court hearing set for accused VA gunman

He's yet to be officially charged
Larry Ray Bon
Posted at 12:08 PM, May 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 12:09:04-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.-- The U.S. Army veteran accused of shooting and wounding a doctor and another person in February at the VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach, has yet to officially be charged with a federal crime.

59-year-old Larry Ray Bon appeared in federal court Monday for a preliminary hearing/arraignment. His federal public defender instead asked for a postponement until July.

Prosecutors have not yet filed an official indictment of charges against Bon, but said previously he faces charges of assaulting officers/employees with a deadly weapon.

In court Monday, the US Attorney's Office said it needed more time and discussions with the defense, to determine whether charges could be filed under aggravated assault or even attempted murder. The office says it want to "charge in the fairest way."

Bon was escorted into court by a US Marshal, handcuffed and in a wheelchair. He is an amputee.

His public defender said Monday, she needed time to comb through thousands of records about Bon's mental health she just received, in hopes to determine current mental status. The public defense told the judge she hired an expert to evaluate Bon as well, before she makes any decisions about insanity/mental health and other possible defenses. Her hope is to use this information to negotiate an indictment and/or possible plea down the line with the US Attorney's Office.

According to the FBI, Bon pulled out a small handgun and opened fire February 27 instead the emergency room at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach, striking at least two people.

One person was grazed by the bullet, and a doctor was shot in the neck while trying to subdue him. The doctor's injury was not life-threatening and he was treated and released from a hospital.

The preliminary hearing is now set for July 22. Judge William Matthewman did say "it is unusual to extend for this amount of time."