Man accused of threatening Senator Ernst ordered to get mental health evaluation

Posted at 11:08 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 00:08:46-04

A judge Tuesday afternoon ordered the man accused of threatening an Iowa senator to be transferred for psychiatric evaluation.

Robert Simet, 64, arrested July 7 in Omaha and charged with threatening U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, appeared before Judge Helen Adams on Tuesday via video conference at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

Simet waived his preliminary hearing.

Judge Adams ruled Simet will be released from the Pottawattamie County Jail and transported to Omaha to seek a psychiatric evaluation.

Simet will be transported from Pottawattamie County Jail to Douglas County Jail while he waits to be admitted to the Douglas County Mental Hospital.

Once admitted, he will be required to follow all physician instructions regarding care and medication instructions.

Once Simet is evaluated, the mental health board will decide whether he is a danger to himself or the public.

If Simet is released, he will wear a tracking device restricting him to stay in Douglas County for the duration of his probation. He will also be required to follow all recommendations from doctor and parole officer.

If released, all firearms in his possession will be confiscated, and he will not be able to obtain any more firearms. Simet is already not allowed to have alcohol or drugs beyond those prescribed by doctor.

If Simet is not admitted to Douglas County Mental Hosptital, he will be required to return to court for reassessment.

Prosecutors said they allowed GPS monitoring rather than insisting on home confinement because Simet doesn’t have a lot of family and needs to be able to transport himself to obtain provisions and to attend doctors appointments.