Suspected "Bling Bandit" fit to stand trial

October 16, 2008 5:49:32 AM PDT
A former New York City police detective who is accused of being the so-called "Bling Bandit" is mentally fit to stand trial on a bank robbery charge.

That assessment by a mental expert was made public at a hearing Wednesday in the case against Athelson Kelson. The mental-health professional reported that Kelson understands the charges against him.

Authorities say the 60-year-old retiree went on a robbery spree in Queens and western Long Island, pulling off nine heists in three months. They nicknamed the suspect as the "Bling Bandit" because he wore flashy jewelry during the robberies.

Kelson's attorney, Harold Buster Ramsey Jr., said he would consider having his client examined by a defense expert.