The mental state of a Texas man accused of stabbing more than a dozen people last month at a Houston-area college has improved but he continues to grapple with what his role was, his attorney said Friday.
Dylan Quick made his first court appearance since his arrest right after the April 9 attack at Lone Star College in Cypress that injured 14.
Quick, 20, dressed in an orange prison uniform, showed little emotion during his arraignment. He only said "Yes ma'am" when state District Judge Maria T. Jackson asked him if he understood the charges and what his rights are.
Quick will continue being held without bond on three aggravated assault counts. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors declined to comment after Friday's hearing.
"He told me and I can tell you guys this, that he is glad that nobody died," Quick's attorney, Jules Laird told reporters after the brief court hearing. "That is something that tells me he is progressing a little bit better."
But Laird said Quick is still coming to terms with what he is accused of doing.
Authorities allege Quick used a razor utility knife to slash at his victims on two floors of the college's health science building. They have said students tackled Quick and held him down outside the building until police arrived.
"I think he's still trying to figure out in his own mind what happened as far as he's concerned," Laird said.
Laird said he prefers that Quick remain in the Harris County Jail's mental health unit, where he continues to be evaluated. While Laird suggested his client is dealing with some sort of mental illness, he declined to offer a diagnosis, as he has yet to review Quick's medical records or see a conclusion from doctors.
Investigators say Quick told them he had fantasized about cannibalism and necrophilia and about cutting off people's faces and wearing them as masks. They say he had researched mass stabbings on his home computer about a week before the attack and had read numerous books about mass killings and serial killers.
According to a search warrant affidavit, investigators seized various items from his home, including an animal dissection kit and one listed as "Hanibal Lecter Mask." Hannibal Lecter is the cannibalistic serial killer from the 1991 movie "The Silence of the Lambs."
Laird said that Quick has been taking medication since being jailed but declined to comment on what kind Quick is taking.
"He tells me that the medication seems to help him ... and as long as it makes him feel better, that is a step for us," Laird said.
After his arrest, Quick was put on suicide watch. But Laird said while jail guards still periodically check on Quick, there is no longer a concern he'll harm himself.
Laird has said Quick had been home-schooled for most of his life and that he had been enrolled at Lone Star in part so he could be around other people.
Quick's next court hearing is set for June 10.