Prosecutors: Kidnapping dad caught faking mental illness - FOX 13 News

Prosecutors: Kidnapping dad caught faking mental illness

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A Tampa father, accused of kidnapping his own children and sailing to Cuba, was back in court this morning where prosecutors said he was faking mental illness.

Josh and Sharyn Hakken face a variety of charges stemming from the international manhunt a year ago. The pair allegedly kidnapped their own kids after losing custody of them.

Back in January, Josh Hakken was found insane after a pretrial mental evaluation. But instead of assigning him to a treatment facility in today's court hearing, prosecutors dropped a bombshell: Hakken had supposedly been caught on jailhouse recordings admitting that he was faking mental illness.

The judge asked prosecutors what evidence they had to back up the allegation.

"Specifically some of the jail calls and correspondence that we have in our possession," said Rita Peters, assistant state attorney for Hillsborough County. "Given that information, the state is not going to stipulate to insanity because what we have learned since the last court date."

As a result of the revelations, Judge Chet Tharpe postponed the upcoming trial, moving it to June 16.

Judge Tharpe also denied a request by Sharyn Hakken's attorney to separate the two cases. Sharyn cried during the hearing and appeared to avoid eye contact with her husband.

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