Accused fake physician asst. sobs in court, claims indigence

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla.,None — An accused impersonator is back in Osceola County and behind bars.

Investigators said Matthew Scheidt pretended to be a physician assistant at Osceola Regional Medical Center and a cop in Miami.

Until now, Scheidt has seemed calm during his court appearances. But Tuesday, he showed a lot of emotion. In fact, he seemed so unstable that counselors evaluated him at the jail Tuesday afternoon.

Scheidt was trembling when he walked into an Osceola County courtroom Tuesday morning. He seemed to be holding back tears, then finally broke down as his attorney tried to comfort him.

His behavior today is in stark contrast to the composed teenager we saw in court last year, when he looked straight into WFTV's camera with a stern face.

Tuesday there were tears, and a few rows away his mother also appeared emotional.

All Scheidt said Tuesday was that he didn't object to a motion filed by his attorney to withdraw from the case.

Attorney J. David Gentle told the judge that Scheidt is indigent and can no longer afford a lawyer.

In a statement, Gentle said "We have worked closely with Matthew and we wish him the very best in the future. ... Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."

Scheidt's mother had no comment about the trouble her son is in.

In addition to facing charges for impersonating a physician assistant at Osceola Regional Medical Center, he's charged with impersonating a police officer in Miami in January. If convicted on the Osceola County charges alone, the 18-year-old faces at least 30 years in prison.

Scheidt has received routine mental evaluations in the jail. Counselors said he was well enough to be housed with the general population and he is in a cell by himself.

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