NORMAN — A former University of Oklahoma student who told police he drove from Ohio to Norman to kill a member of the women's soccer team is mentally competent and will stand trial, a judge has ruled.
An attorney representing 21-year-old Naasik Ferdous wrote in a recent court filing that his client suffers from high-functioning autism and that he has been diagnosed as having Asperger's syndrome in the past.
Ferdous, who was expelled from OU in 2011, called police in October and told them he was driving from Ohio to Norman to kill Kelsey Devonshire, goalie for the women's soccer team.
The man apparently had become obsessed with Devonshire and other female student-athletes at OU and was pulled off a January 2011 flight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after fellow passengers became alarmed at the way he was talking about the soccer player — a woman he'd never met.
Devonshire and OU gymnast Sara Stone both filed protective orders against Ferdous in October.
Both women, in petitions filed to obtain the protective orders, detailed the defendant's behavior toward them, which in both cases involved overt threats of sexual assault and violence.
The women also claim that Ferdous would actively seek them out on campus and lie to people about his relationship with them.
“At first it was just a friend request on Facebook, then a message saying he wanted to meet me because he was a huge fan,” Devonshire wrote in her petition. “Next thing I knew he was walking around the OU campus asking other athletes if they knew where to find me.”
Elton Jenkins, the defendant's attorney, wrote in a November court filing that Ferdous has “a medical history of Asperger's syndrome.”
“He was first diagnosed with this disability (in) middle school,” Jenkins wrote. “In 2003-2004, a school psychologist diagnosed him as emotionally disturbed and later, after psychiatric evaluations, medical professionals diagnosed him as high functioning autistic.”
Jenkins also wrote that his client was hospitalized for seven days following his removal from the American Eagle flight in the Dallas area in January 2011.
“He was again diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome (at Parkland),” the lawyer wrote.
Asperger syndrome is typically defined as a developmental disorder that hinders an individual's ability to socialize, making effective communication more difficult.
Among children and younger people, the disorder can manifest itself through social awkwardness and a borderline obsessive interest in particular subjects.
Ferdous was arrested Oct. 17 in Norman after he was spotted on the OU campus following his threats against Devonshire. He has since been charged with conspiring to commit an act of violence and stalking.
The defendant, who is being held at the Cleveland County jail in lieu of $2 million bail, is due in court next week for a preliminary hearing conference, court records show.