An Ada County Magistrate Judge has ordered a mental health evaluation for former Boise State and College of Western Idaho professor Cynthia Clinkingbeard, who police say threatened several employees at a Boise-area Staple store with a handgun last month.
Clinkingbeards attorney, Bret Shoufler, told a judge last month his client was likely in a hypo-manic state during the March 16 incident and would be better served in a mental health facility rather than jail as her case went forward.
On Thursday, 4th District Magistrate Kevin Swain decided to have a court-appointed evaluator figure out if Clinkingbeard can adequately understand the court proceedings against her and if she can actively participate in her own defense. The case wont go forward to a preliminary hearing until that evaluation is completed.
Clinkingbeard, 58, is a former Idaho physician who had her license permanently revoked in 2005 for multiple relapses and continuing problems with her diagnosed bipolar disorder.
College of Western Idaho officials suspended Clinkingbeard from her position as an adjunct instructor of health sciences for erratic behavior March 14 two days before she was arrested on three felony counts of aggravated assault and one count of use of a deadly weapon in commission of a crime.
Since that day, Clinkingbeard has lost teaching positions at Boise State and the College of Western Idaho.
Store employees told police that Clinkingbeard who filed as a Democratic candidate in the May primary race for the 1st District congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador walked into the Staples store the night of March 16 to ask about printing campaign posters.
But Clinkingbeard began making strange statements about politics and religion, like telling employees they were going to meet God, police said.
Clinkingbeard was waiting for a ride at the front of the store when, employees told police, she pulled a 9mm pistol out of a shoulder holster and pointed it at the back of a store manager. Police said she turned on a laser-targeting system and told employees that if she were anywhere else, she would cap him.
The employees told police Clinkingbeard then pointed the gun at least twice more at other employees before leaving the store.
Prosecutors told a judge last month they were concerned that Clinkingbeard may have gone to Staples with the gun because she was stalking an employees family member and suggesting that may be connected to why she was suspended from CWI.
Prosecutors did not elaborate on what erratic behavior got Clinkingbeard suspended from CWI, but did ask for a no-contact order protecting the Staples employees.
Clinkingbeard was teaching an entry-level Health Wellness course at CWI. At Boise State, Clinkingbeard had taught about two dozen classes since 2006 and was teaching one biology class this spring.
A review hearing for the mental health evaluation is set for May 4.
The crime of aggravated assault is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.