Father who beheaded 5-year-old son in 2009 granted conditional release

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (WTKR) -- A man charged with killing his 5-year-old son in 2009 faced a judge Monday morning after completing two independent mental evaluations.

Officials charged Joseph Hagerman III with the murder of his young son after they found the boy beheaded in the family's Sugar Creek Drive home in February of 2009.

At the time of his arrest Hagerman was also charged with malicious wounding because police said he hurt his wife who was trying to save their son from the attack.

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On Monday a judge granted Hagerman a conditional release. Some of the conditions he must adhere to include always being supervised (living at an adult foster home and with his parents on the weekends), continue to take his medications, attend therapy and have blood drawn monthly to make sure his drug levels are stable.

Hagerman will have a team of people who will see him twice a day to be sure he is taking his required medicines during the week. His parents will be in charge of his meds on the weekends.

Court documents and a previous jailhouse interview with News 3 revealed that Hagerman believed by killing his son, he was sending him to heaven and away from the 'Antichrist.' Attorneys said Hagerman was suffering his third intense psychotic break when the crime occurred.

A few months later, Hagerman was found not guilty due to his insanity. He has been receiving mental treatment in a hospital ever since.

At his last court appearance, attorneys said while being treated, Hagerman has attacked other inmates and patients who he also believed to be 'Antichrists', according to attorneys.

A judge ordered two independent mental health evaluations be completed on Hagerman before he can be considered for release. If released, he would be in the community.

Attorneys said Hagerman suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, delusions and other physiological issues.

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