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Doctor in office arson found insane
November 09, 2013, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Noah Minskoff

A doctor who allegedly vandalized and torched his San Carlos electronic cigarette business multiple times after a mental breakdown in December was insane at the time, according to court-appointed doctors.

The conclusion doesn’t stop the prosecution of Dr. Noah Mark Minskoff, 34, of Palo Alto, but could help determine if he is hospitalized rather than incarcerated if convicted.

Minskoff is charged with arson, vandalism, resisting arrest, possessing metal knuckles and committing a new offense while out of custody for the earlier case. His twin pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity mean a jury will first determine if he is guilty and, if so, then have a secondary trial on his mental state at the time.

On Friday, jury trial was also scheduled for Feb. 24 following a Jan. 21 pretrial conference.

Minskoff, who is also an ex-Army ranger, is co-owner of Thermo Essence Technologies in San Carlos. Thermo Essence Technologies is billed on its website as providing “the most advanced portable convection vaporizer system available.” Minskoff holds a patent for personal vaporizer inhalers.

Minskoff was in the midst of a divorce and had a court order prohibiting him from having weapons. However, in December, deputies removed weapons from the scenes of two separate incidents at the San Carlos business. On Dec. 15, deputies reported finding $10,000 worth of vandalism to the building and the property burned. Deputies took Minskoff into custody for his bizarre behavior and confiscated a loaded gun.

Two days later, according to prosecutors, deputies again responded to the business and found it ransacked with the floor burned and Minskoff, who was at the scene, asked them if they were there seeking employment. They took him once more into psychiatric custody and searched the business with the co-owner. Inside, they reported finding four assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. They also reported finding a pair of brass knuckles in his car.

Defense attorney Geoff Carr was not immediately available to comment on the insanity conclusion but has previously said his client has some diagnosed psychiatric issues. Minskoff has also been in a locked psychiatric facility since his arrest. As long as he remains there, he is free on a $150,000 bail bond.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: minskoff, deputies, business, guilty, finding, custody,

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