UFO Researcher Jason
Leigh Released From
Custody - Awaits Sentencing
By Tommy Witherspoon
Staff Writer
Waco Tribune-Herald
From Stig Agermose <>
The former Cleburne man who pleaded guilty Sept. 3 to federal weapons violations after crashing his truck into the Veterans Affairs Regional Office in March was released from custody Tuesday and will live in a halfway house two blocks from the VA until he is sentenced.
Jason Leigh, 49, who apologized to the people of Waco for his actions earlier this month, was released to the Salvation Army halfway house at 500 S. Fourth St. A bond hearing set for Tuesday to determine his detention status was canceled after federal prosecutors did not oppose his release pending sentencing.
"Basically, all his psychiatric evaluations came back and nobody anticipates he will be a threat to anybody in the future," Leigh's attorney, Rod Goble, said. "He was going on 50 years and had never done anything wrong, and this is the next process, to see how he does under the supervision of the halfway house. But I really do not believe he is a danger to a soul. He is very nice, very likeable, very intelligent and very remorseful."
As a condition of Leigh's release to the halfway house, U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. ordered Leigh not to enter the nearby VA Regional Office property at 701 Clay Ave., to submit to drug testing and to possess no firearms or other weapons.
Leigh had two weapons with him when he drove his Jeep Cherokee into the VA building March 8 and claimed to have a bomb. He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in a federal facility during the commission of a crime and should be sentenced in two to three months. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Leigh, who moved to Denton shortly before the incident, portrayed himself as a Vietnam War veteran and a former member of the elite Navy SEALS. Both claims proved to be false, although Leigh did have a brief military career, according to records.
He also has said that he videotaped a UFO over a golf course in Cleburne and has falsely claimed to have a doctorate in philosophy.
In a letter to the Tribune-Herald dated Sept. 4, Leigh said that he is an "honorably discharged, disabled veteran of the Hawaiian Armed Services Police, being a master-at-arms." Leigh claims in the letter that the VA owes him $1 million in back benefits for service-connected disabilities, which he was going to donate to "SOS" (Save Our Soldiers), a fund he said he began the day he crashed into the VA building to benefit the "8 million homeless veterans in our nation."
After he drove through a sliding-glass door at the VA building, Leigh threatened to blow up the building unless $1 million was placed in a Swiss bank account, with former President Jimmy Carter administering the fund, officials have said. He staged a 14-hour standoff with police to rally attention to the plight of homeless veterans and out of frustration over his dealings with the VA, he said.
Leigh surrendered to police and underwent psychological testing to determine his competency to stand trial. Authorities found a pistol in his vehicle and a rifle in the building, but no explosives.