A mental health evaluation has been ordered for a veiled woman who stood outside a Kentwood mosque earlier this month, saying she was armed with a gun and would blow up the mosque if her demands were not met.
Kari Rae Moss did not attend today’s probable cause hearing in Kentwood District Court and has insisted upon representing herself.
Judge William Kelly ordered that Moss, 33, undergo a forensic evaluation to determine if she understands the charge against her and can assist in her own defense. The probable cause hearing has been reset for March 23.
Moss, who says she is a follower of Islam, is charged with making a false report or threat of terrorism at At-Tawheed Islamic Center, 3357 East Paris Avenue SE about 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 2.
She indicated she had a gun and explosives. Kentwood police did not find a weapon and a Michigan State Police bomb squad did not find explosives.
During her arraignment last week, Moss, with all but her eyes covered, frequently interrupted the judge, insisting she would not post a $500,000 bond because paying interest is against her religion. She called the charge fraudulent.
“I will go to jail for life before I disobey my religion," she said during her Jan. 4 video arraignment.
If convicted of making a false report/threat of terrorism, Moss faces up to 20 years in prison. She is being held at the Kent County Jail.
Kentwood police say Moss, who has a history of mental illness, requested money from people outside the mosque and “did threaten to blow up the At-Taweed Islamic Center," according to a probable cause affidavit. "Moss threatened that she had a gun and that if her demands were not met that she would blow up the mosque."
A court services worker recommended a high bond, describing Moss as a flight risk, according to court records.
She made statements to arresting officers “about wanting money to travel to California for an arranged marriage to an Iranian,’’ court records show. Moss had recently moved out of her mother’s home in Ada and was living at the Best Western Hospitality Hotel & Suites on 28th Street near Kraft Avenue SE, court records show.
Her mother evicted Moss over “her refusal to seek her own mental health treatment,’’ court records show. Moss lost her job and in mid-December was involved in an accident that totaled her car. She is estranged from most of her local family and suffers from “significant mental health issues,’’ according to court records.