More than a year after Nicholas Teausant was arrested and charged with trying to join the brutal ISIS terror group, his court case has been delayed again until August.
The 21-year-old resident of Acampo, near Lodi, had been scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Sacramento on Tuesday morning for a status conference on a felony count that he attempted to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. But an order filed Monday in federal court reset that hearing for Aug. 4 after his defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed that the complexity of the case and the volume of evidence being produced by the government investigation required yet another postponement.
Monday’s order marks the seventh time the Teausant status conference has been rescheduled since the former community college student was arrested in March 2014 as he tried to take a bus into Canada as part of what the FBI contends was an effort to join ISIS (also known as Islamic State) fighters in Syria.
At the time of his arrest, ISIS was still a relatively unknown terror group, and Teausant had difficulty remembering its proper name, court documents indicate.
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Since then, however, the United States has led efforts to eradicate ISIS. The group has been blamed for attracting numerous Westerners to fight on its front lines and is suspected of influencing two Phoenix men to try to attack a meeting in Texas last week where a cartoon-drawing contest of the Prophet Muhammad was being held.
Teausant has distanced himself from the group, saying in a jailhouse interview with The Sacramento Bee in August that the group’s actions – including beheadings of Western journalists that were recorded on video – were far more gruesome than he had expected.
“You’ve got to understand, at the time they were not doing the brutal stuff that they’re doing now,” he told The Bee.
Teausant, a convert to Islam, was arrested after boasting of plans to bomb the Los Angeles subway system, court documents state. His federal public defenders have said Teausant is mentally ill, and he was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was booked into the Sacramento County jail in April 2014.
His case was delayed earlier this year while he underwent psychiatric evaluation in Los Angeles, but online Sacramento County jail records indicate that he was returned to custody in Sacramento on April 7.