The former Leesburg man suspected in a series of stabbing attacks across three states is expected to undergo psychiatric exams and could try to use an insanity defense, his lawyer told CNN.

Elias Abuelazam is suspected in 18 attacks — five of them fatal — in Virginia, Michigan  and Ohio, and has been charged in Michigan with three counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Edward Zeineh, Abuelazam's lawyer, told CNN that he filed a motion on Monday for Abuelazam to receive a private psychiatric exam in order to preserve his right for a possible insanity plea. Zeineh said he's not sure yet whether he will use an insanity defense. He also filed a motion for a change of venue for the case.

Abuelazam is also expected to undergo a separate court-ordered mental-health exam.

Abuelazam was arrested in August in connection with the attacks. He has not been charged in Virginia with three Leesburg assaults.