Briton responsible for scare at Trump rally pleads guilty to weapons charge | News | DW | 14.09.2016
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Briton responsible for scare at Trump rally pleads guilty to weapons charge

Michael Steven Sandford has pleaded guilty to charges of illegal weapons possession and disorderly conduct. The 19-year-old Briton allegedly tried to kill Trump.

Sandford admitted on Tuesday to attempting to steal a gun while at a rally in Las Vegas for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"I plead guilty, your honor," said Sandford, standing before Judge James Mahan in orange prison clothes. "I tried to take a gun from a policeman to shoot someone with, and I'm pleading guilty."

The incident occurred back in June at the Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas, where Trump was addressing his supporters. Sandford was arrested before he was able to get a hold of the gun, and no shots were fired.

According to court documents filed shortly after the event took place, "Sandford acknowledged that he would likely only be able to fire one to two rounds and stated he was convinced he would be killed by law enforcement during his attempt to Trump's life."

Watch video 00:10

Arrested Briton wanted 'to kill Donald Trump'

Speculation over mental illness

The Briton had overstayed his tourist visa by ten months when he drove to Las Vegas from California to attend the rally. He had also visited a gun range the day before the incident took place.

According to Sandford's family attorney, a psychiatrist enlisted to offer a diagnosis said the defendant was delusional at the time. The Briton had also reportedly taken the anti-depressant drug risperidone.

The young man faces between 18 and 27 months in US prison and almost certain deportation afterward. According to a prosecutor, one charge of being an illegal alien knowingly in possession of a firearm will be dropped.

Sandford could have faced up to 20 years in prison initially. His sentencing is set for December 13.

blc/kl (AP, Reuters)

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