Ex-Harper prof charged in Iowa shootings to undergo medical evaluation

Ex-Harper College professor Charles Johnston, charged with shooting at truckers and state troopers in January in rural Iowa, is expected to undergo a medical evaluation soon, officials said Friday.

A pretrial conference, originally set for Friday in Iowa, was delayed until Sept. 28, allowing for a medical expert to evaluate Johnston and for Johnston's attorneys to take depositions of an officer involved in the shootout on Jan. 11, according to Cedar County Attorney Jeffrey Renander.

Johnston, 60, of Belvidere, remains jailed on $1 million bail after being charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities say Johnston opened fire on truckers at a rest stop along Interstate 80 between Iowa City and the Quad Cities, then turned his weapon on state police.

According to court records, Johnston told police he targeted truck drivers because he was enraged over a truck crash that killed a family.

Johnston, who taught psychology at the Palatine-based community college, was fired 12 days after the shooting.

A trial date hasn't been set.

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