Prosecution: Joshua Hakken may be faking insanity

TAMPA - Prosecutors made a potentially game-changing move Tuesday in the trial of the husband and wife accused of kidnapping their sons and sailing to Cuba last spring.

The state, which had earlier agreed to a ruling that Joshua Hakken was not fit to stand trial, now says the USF-educated engineer, whose delusions about the federal government allegedly led to the kidnapping in the first place, may be faking his insanity.    

During a hearing to determine where Hakken would be sent for for treatment, Assistant State Attorney Rita Peters told Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe she can't abide by the earlier agreement.

"The state has been made aware of information and we're currently in the process of burning that for defense counsel that might indicate that Mr. Hakken is feigning his insanity," she said. "And has been planning that to avoid a prison sentence."

Doctors concluded in January that Hakken wasn’t fit to stand trial on charges that he and his wife, Sharyn, fled to Cuba with their two young sons in April.

Authorities said the Hakkens kidnapped their young sons from Sharyn Hakken’s parents in North Tampa after they lost custody following run-ins with police in Louisiana.

The Hakkens sailed out of Madeira Beach to Cuba. They were later sent back to Tampa to face charges.

The couple will now be tried together beginning June 16th. Pre-trial meetings will start June 10th.

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