Akmal Khozhiev

MMA fighter who allegedly killed Doctor over vaccination argument to undergo psychiatric evaluation

Akmal Khozhiev, a professional mixed martial artist out of Guam, also on trial for the alleged murder of Dr. Miran Ribati, was granted his request to have an independent psychiatrist as part of his defense, and for a confidential evaluation to be performed, according to a report from the Guam Daily Post.

Khozhiev had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect to aggravated murder along with a special allegation of possession or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

On Nov. 7, 2021, a witness said Khozhiev and Ribati were arguing about vaccinations at the Poinciana Apartments in Tamuning, Guam. Khozhiev allegedly wrapped both arms around Ribati’s neck and choked him, court documents state.

Khozhiev then stabbed Ribati with an animal bone before stabbing him again using a knife, court documents state.

Khozhiev reportedly told arresting officers that he had killed Ribati.

Dr. Juan Rapadas previously ruled that Khozhiev is competent to stand trial. However, Rapadas also stated in his opinion that the former fighter appears to be suffering from bipolar disorder, manic type and cannabis induced psychosis, adding that the mental illness did not result in a lack of substantial knowing or understanding of his actions, court documents state.

Rapadas also ruled in his opinion that while the defendant did not meet the test for legal insanity, it is his belief that due to Khozhiev’s mental illness that he did have diminished capacity that may have impaired and somewhat compromised his judgement, causing some impulsive behaviors. He adds that Khozhiev’s severe emotional and behavioral problems seem to be more related and due to his cannabis use and the onset of bipolar II disorder, documents state.

Defense attorney Annie Gayle asked the court that a second evaluation be performed earlier this year.

Superior Court Judge Maria Cenzon granted the request on June 30, and gave defense one month to find a psychiatric expert.

Ribati was an interventional radiologist at Guam Memorial Hospital for three years.

Akmal Khozhiev remains held in prison on $1 million cash bail.

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