HOPEWELL, Va. (WTVR) – Thursday, Judge Allan Sharrett dismissed the case against Brandon Raub and the Marine veteran returned home to Chesterfield County.
Raub, 26-years-old, was detained a week over anti-government Facebook posts. He was released late afternoon Thursday from a VA hospital. He was seized by FBI, Secret Service and local authorities over Facebook posts allegedly terrorist in nature.
Judge Sharrett said the original petition for Raub’s detention contained no facts. The judge said that there was no information on why Raub was being held, and deemed that this violated Raub’s civil liberties.
As a result, the judge ruled the government had no grounds to hold Raub.
“Those procedures, that paperwork is very important,” said CBS 6 Legal Analyst, Todd Stone.
Stone said that critical paperwork keeps the government from detaining whoever it pleases without reason, no matter how mentally disabled a person appears.
“You’re talking about the government's right to snatch you up off the street and stick you in a mental hospital,” said Stone.
Doctors at John Randolph Hospital believed Raub needed treatment after performing a psychiatric evaluation. Stone said if the veteran was released simply because of incorrect paperwork, Raub could be detained again. “They would have to show that he's an imminent threat to himself or someone else in order to do that,” said Stone.
CBS 6 checked his criminal history and found it to be clean. And Brandon Raub’s mother told CBS 6 News’ Mark Holmberg that her son he had no mental health history, no PTSD.
“He never was violent or psychotic or anything like that,” Cathleen Thomas told CBS 6. “There were just conversations we had back and forth, very deep.”
The Washington Times reported that, according to court documents, Raub was “swiftly evaluated” by a social worker and the following day his detention was ordered by a magistrate. The Washington Times also reported that he was evaluated another 15 minutes by a different doctor, and then ordered by a Special Justice to remain at a VA hospital for 30 days.
“This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute that defended Raub.
Whitehead told Business Insider that Virginia's system is corrupt and that Raub got caught in it.
"I'm friends with the local police; I could call them right now and probably get you committed if you were in Virginia," Whitehead said. "They can arrive at your door based on somebody's testimony or your Facebook page and take you away to a mental hospital…," read the Business Insider quote.
According to Whitehead, more than 20,000 people are committed under the pretext of mental illness every year in Virginia. "This is the so-called judge – he's a lawyer, not a real judge – it's like what you would see in a bad movie," said Whitehead as he discussed the Special Justice that had Raub sent to the VA hospital.
A number of protestors gathered outside John Randolph Medical Center Monday, where Raub was detained before his transfer to the Veterans Hospital in Salem.
A former Marine who served two tours in Afghanistan with Raub told CBS 6 News’ Catie Beck Monday that Raub is a courageous and patriotic young man with showed no signs of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Additionally, the man said he believes a mental evaluation would find Raub sane — and not someone who is capable of a terroristic threat.