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IMPORTANT & BREAKING: FAMILIES IN MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS ACT INTRODUCED

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115 Law Enforcement Officers Killed by Mentally Ill

 

People with severe mental illness are being routinely abandoned by the mental health system. It forces Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) to step into a dangerous situation if the untreated become "danger to self or others". This too frequently results in people with untreated severe mental illness being injured, incarcerated and sometimes killed by police. It also, too frequently, results in police being injured or killed by people with untreated severe mental illness.

 

Almost all these cases (below) might have been prevented if Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) laws were in place. Assisted Outpatient Treatment laws returns the care of the most severely mentally ill back to the mental health system. AOT laws allow courts to order people who have a severe mental illness and past history of violence to accept treatment as a condition of living in the community. The courts can also order the mental health system to provide care. A recent study found homicides are correlated to civil commitment statues. If the statue does not require dangerousness, there are fewer homicides. AOT dramatically reduces arrest, incarceration, homelessness, and suicide all of which take up police resources.

 

The enclosed incidents of Law Enforcement Officers being killed by people with untreated severe mental illness are taken from the Treatment Advocacy Center database of "Preventable Tragedies". They are not presented to demonize people with mental illness, but to show Law Enforcement Officers the importance of working for AOT laws (like Laura's Law in California, Kendra's Law in New York, etc).. Those laws keep public, patients, and LEOs safer while saving money. The laws have been endorsed by organizations that advocate for people with mental illness (NAMI); organizations that advocate for public safety (National Sheriff's Association); organizations that care about saving money and others.


 

 

 

Date: 8/2009

Location: Tampa, Hillsborough, FL

Summary: On August 19, 2009, 36-year-old Humberto Delgado Jr. was arrested and charged with the murder of Cpl. Mike Roberts. The incident began when Roberts stopped Delgado, who was pushing a shopping cart, for questioning. A struggle ensued, and Roberts tried to shock Delgado with a Taser. Delgado broke free and shot Roberts. Officers found Delgado near the shooting scene. They said he yelled, "I'm sorry. I'm crazy." They also reported hearing him say, "I'm one of you." Delgado worked as a police officer in the U.S. Virgin Islands from 1996 to 2000. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in '05 due to a knee injury and bipolar disorder. Delgado’s former girlfriend said the homeless Delgado declined to get help for his health issues.

Source Of Information: Tampa Tribune, 8/20/09, 12/9/09; St Petersburg Times, 7/16/11

 

RecordID: 5161

Date: 8/2009

Location: Houston, Harris, TX

Summary: On August 21, 2009, Sergio Robles, 24, was charged with capital murder and aggravated assault for the slaying of Pasadena police officer Jesse Hamilton, who was responding to a domestic disturbance call. Another officer later shot Robles, seriously injuring him. Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center would not provide information on his status. Prior History: The day before the shooting, Robles had been released from the Harris County Jail after serving a sentence for driving while intoxicated. Police said Robles had an altercation with the mother of his child that night. She then took their child and spent the night at Robles' mother's house, where Robles arrived around 5 a.m., according to police. His mother then called police. Hamilton responded, and while he was there, Robles came to the door and shot him in the head with a handgun. Another officer then pulled up and saw Robles on the porch near Hamilton's body. Assistant Police Chief Bud Corbet said Robles, with a gun still in his hands, turned toward the officer, who got out of his vehicle and shot Robles. Prior History: According to the Galveston County Daily News, Robles suffers from schizophrenia and had once sued Santa Fe police, claiming two officers used excessive force against him. The newspaper said Robles had not been taking his medication when he got into a struggle with two police officers on August 21, 2006, on Texas 6 in Santa Fe. Robles was acquitted of a charge of resisting arrest in February. The city of Santa Fe settled Robles' lawsuit for $125,000. Subsequent History: On September 22, 2009, police said even though Sergio Robles had once been committed to a mental hospital, he somehow passed the background check and bought a Smith and Wesson handgun from a sporting goods store two weeks before the incident. Robles was able to walk out of the sporting goods store with the gun after apparently passing the instant federal background check. In that system, all potential gun buyers have to fill out a form and the seller sends the request to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System run by the FBI. An answer comes in minutes from the system to the retailer.

Source Of Information: Houston Chronicle, 8/22/09; Houston KHOU.com, 9/23/09

 

RecordID: 5223

Date: 10/2009

Location: Newport, Penobscot, ME

Summary: On October 26, 2009, 45-year-old Perley Goodrich Jr. fatally shot his father, 76-year-old Perley Goodrich Sr. and attacked his mother, 64-year-old Sandra Goodrich at the home they shared. He eluded a massive police manhunt for more than three days but was recognized by a waitress as he drank coffee at a truck stop on October 30, where local police arrested him without incident. Goodrich Jr. entered his mother’s bedroom where she was asleep and asked to use her cellular telephone. He left the room with the phone. When she followed Goodrich Jr. to the living room he grabbed her, struck her with his fists and attempted to bind her hands together with duct tape. He then and struck her on the head five to six times with a handgun leaving her dazed and beaten. Goodrich Jr. then went to the bedroom where his father was sleeping and shot him. Sandra Goodrich told police she heard the gunshot from and her husband exclaim, “He shot me.” She ran to a neighbor’s house where police were called. Police found Goodrich Sr. dead with a gunshot wound in his back. Goodrich Jr. had fled the home. Sandra Goodrich told police that her son was “crazy” and that she had taken him to the hospital three times that week, where they had given him a new medication. She said there had been talk about sending him to a psychiatric hospital in Bangor. Subsequent History: On March 28, 2011, jury selection began in the murder trial of 46-year-old Perley Goodrich Jr. charged with fatally shooting his father. A separate hearing was to be held to determine whether Goodrich was competent enough to stand trial. Goodrich’s mother said he suffers from Bipolar Disorder. She had taken him to a psychiatric hospital three times during the week leading up to the incident, and that he had recently been injected with the drug Trazodone. At the time, Goodrich didn't want to take the medication because he said it made him feel "violent."

Source Of Information: Bangor Daily News, 10/30/2009, 10/31/2009, 11/4/2009, 11/19/2009; TheBostonChannel.com, 11/5/2009; Kennebec Journal, 11/9/2009; Morning Sentinel, 3/29/11; WCSH6.com, 3/29/11

 

RecordID: 5225

Date: 4/2005

Location: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Summary: On April 29, 2005, 47-year-old William Sadowski, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, killed 36-year-old Tommy Scott, a Los Angeles airport officer by dragging him along the side of his carjacked patrol car. Scott had spotted Sadowski by the fence alongside the airfield. Witnesses saw Sadowski and Scott talking before Sadowski ran to the patrol car and jumped in. Scott reached him before Sadowski could close the door, and Sadowski began to drive dragging Scott. The patrol car veered onto the sidewalk, sheering off a fire hydrant and knocked down trees eventually decapitating Scott. Sadowski drove about a quarter-mile at fast speeds before flipping the vehicle. Inside, the seat-belted Sadowski was uninjured, but slit his wrist with glass from the mangled car and told emergency personnel he wanted to die. Sadowski pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prior History: Sadowski had worked at Hughes Aircraft until he was diagnosed with a mental illness, and left on disability in the mid-1980s. He tried or contemplated suicide several times around that time. In the last couple years before the 2005 incident, Sadowski was living in his car, spending a lot of time at an Internet cafe in Venice and traveling to Russia and the Ukraine, where he was involved with two young women. Subsequent History: On November 16, 2009, a jury found Sadowski guilty of murder and three counts of carjacking. On November 24, 2009, the jury decided that the 51-year-old Sadowski was sane at the time of Scott‘s death. Subsequent History: On September 14, 2011 the California Supreme Court refused to review Sadowski’s case. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. A three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal had upheld his conviction on May 31, 2011.

Source Of Information: Daily Breeze, 11/2/09, 9/14/11; Contra Costa Daily Times, 11/16/09; Los Angeles Times, 11/25/09; The Orange County Register, 1/15/10

 

RecordID: 5254

Date: 11/2009

Location: Parkland, Pierce, WA

Summary: On November 29, 2009, police believe 37-year-old Maurice Clemmons fatally shot four police officers at a Parkland coffee shop. Killed were Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina Griswold, 40, and Greg Richards, 42. Police said they were not sure what prompted Clemmons to kill the officers as they worked on their laptop computers at the beginning of their shifts. He was described as increasingly erratic in the past few months and had been arrested earlier this year on charges that he punched a sheriff's deputy in the face. Pierce County Sheriff's office spokesman Ed Troyer said that Clemmons indicated the night before the shooting "that he was going to shoot police and watch the news." Authorities said the gunman singled out the officers and spared employees and other customers at the coffee shop in a suburb about 35 miles south of Seattle. He then fled, but not before he was apparently shot in the torso by one of the dying officers. Subsequent History: On December 2, 2009, Maurice Clemmons, the suspect wanted in the slaying of four Lakewood police officers, was shot and killed in South Seattle by a Seattle police officer making a routine check of a stolen car. The shooting occurred about the same time as Pierce County sheriff's detectives took into custody a man believed to have acted as a getaway driver in the slayings of the Lakewood officers. Police also booked three people into jail on suspicion of providing assistance to Clemmons, said sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer. Several other people also will be taken into custody for helping Clemmons, Troyer said. Clemmons, who was armed with a handgun taken from one of the officers he is accused of killing, was shot during a confrontation with a South Precinct Patrol Officer Benjamin L. Kelly. He refused commands to stop and was shot by the officer about 2:45 a.m., the officials said. Troyer said Clemmons had an older wound to his stomach believed to be the result of a gunshot fired by one of the Lakewood officers who was killed. Troyer said he was surprised Clemmons survived that wound. Clemmons had been the focus of a massive manhunt since 11/29/09, when he was accused of killing four Lakewood police officers in a coffee shop in Parkland. Previous History: Clemmons, had been in and out of the judicial system since he was 17. In 1989, he was sentenced to 95 years in prison in Arkansas for robberies, burglaries, thefts, and taking a gun to school, among other crimes. In 2000, after Clemmons had served 11 years, then-Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence on the recommendation of the parole board, which had determined he had met all the conditions for early release. Huckabee also cited Clemmons’ age—17 at the time of his sentencing—when he announced his decision. Within a year of his release, Clemmons was arrested for aggravated robbery and was back in prison on a parole violation. He was released again in 2004 but was never charged with the new crimes. His attorney successfully argued that the charges should be dropped because too much time had elapsed. Records indicate that Clemmons moved to Washington state after his 2004 release to be near relatives, who told authorities that in recent months his behavior had been increasingly erratic. In one instance, he forced relatives to undress, telling them families need to be “naked for at least five minutes on Sunday.” According to a report written by a Pierce County deputy sheriff, who interviewed family members, Clemmons also believed he was Jesus and that he could fly. In May, he punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face and also was arrested for the second-degree rape of a child. He had been in the county jail for months on those charges and had been out on bail for six days when the killings occurred.

Source Of Information: Washington Post, 12/1/09; The Huffington Post, 12/1/09; TheDailyBeast.com, 12/1/09; The Seattle Times, 12/2/09

 

Date: 1/2010

Location: Cranberry Township, Venango, PA

Summary: On January 13, 2010, Michael J. Smith killed his wife, State Trooper Paul Richey, and himself at the couple's home. State police had been called there to check on a possible domestic dispute, and Trooper Richey volunteered to handle the call because he knew Mr. Smith from his earlier spats with neighbors, state police Commissioner Col. Frank Pawlowski said. Mr. Smith, 44, arranged tables and stacks of blankets to create a sniper's perch in his second-floor bedroom, where he waited and watched from windows as troopers rolled up to his home. Around his waist, police said Mr. Smith wore an ammunition belt holding rounds for a .30-30 Marlin rifle with a scope -- the same gun he threatened police officers and his wife, Nancy, with more than a decade ago. It also was the gun Mr. Smith had surrendered after his arrest in March 1997, but a judge agreed to return it to him in 2000, when his probation was over. When Trooper Richey and Trooper Jason Whitman pulled up to the house, Mr. Smith lay in wait. They could hear Mr. Smith yell that they should return to their vehicle, the commissioner said, but the troopers never saw him before he fired a single bullet at Trooper Richey, striking him in the neck, above his bulletproof vest. He was shot while approaching a side entrance, within steps of his patrol car. Mrs. Smith, 53, likely was dead before the troopers arrived, as officers heard neither gunshots nor sounds of distress from her while at the residence, Col. Pawlowski said. When tactical officers entered the home more than six hours later, they found the couple dead in the bedroom; Mrs. Smith was slumped in a chair with a gunshot to her head, while her husband lay near the foot of the bed clutching a rifle. A gunshot wound to his head appeared to be self-inflicted. Prior History: Col. Pawlowski said he did not know why the Marlin rifle had been returned to Mr. Smith after it had been confiscated in March 1997, when he went to Mrs. Smith’s workplace, and threatened to kill her, himself and police officers. He pleaded guilty to a stalking charge and was sentenced to three years of probation, after which Judge H. William White ordered the rifle returned to him, saying in court documents that Mr. Smith was "permitted to hunt and to carry sporting weapons for the very limited purpose of hunting or training to hunt." The judge forbade Mr. Smith from storing guns in his home but said he could store them elsewhere. Mrs. Smith's mother, Norma Jean Frey, was fearful for her daughter's safety after the incident and also filed a protection from abuse order against him after he called the family's home demanding to know where Mrs. Smith was, "threatening to go hunting for her," court documents show. But in June 1997, less than four months later, Mrs. Smith asked Judge White to discontinue the protection order, saying she was no longer in fear of her husband. Her request came after Mr. Smith agreed to take medication prescribed by his psychiatrist, attend marriage counseling, attend Alcoholics Anonymous and stay away from her work place. "My husband has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, substance and alcohol addiction as well as having a medical problem with his neck," she wrote to the judge. "My husband and I have every intention of giving our 11-year relationship every chance possible of reconciliation." In more than a decade that followed, Mr. Smith had several other minor run-ins with police. Col. Pawlowski said troopers had been called to his home several times for disputes between Mr. Smith and his neighbors that were "generally nonviolent" and never led to his arrest.

Source Of Information: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/15/10

 

RecordID: 5504

Date: 6/2010

Location: Lancaster, Dallas, TX

Summary: On June 20, 2010, 27-year-old David Brown Jr., the son of Dallas Police Chief David Brown, fatally shot a bystander, 23-year-old Jeremy McMillan, then killed 37-year-old Lancaster Police Officer Craig Shaw before being shot dead himself in an exchange of gunfire with police. The incident began when police received 911 calls regarding a black man with a gun and wearing only boxer shorts walking around an apartment complex pool. Several minutes later, more 911 calls reported a shooting. Brown approached McMillian as he drove into the complex with his girlfriend and their two children. McMillian held his arms up and said, "I don't know you," before Brown shot him. Subsequently, Brown retrieved a rifle from the trunk of his blue Dodge Stratus and drove toward the front of the complex, where he was confronted by Lancaster officers. During the ensuing shootout, Shaw was struck in the head with a bullet from Brown's assault rifle. Other officers fired numerous rounds killing Brown. Previous History: About seven hours before incident, Brown, Jr.'s girlfriend told Lancaster officers that Brown was exhibiting "psychotic behavior" and she suspected he might be high on drugs. He was not arrested, but police took his girlfriend and her children to the police station, where her father picked them up. She later told police that Brown had "stopped taking his prescribed medication and decided to self-medicate by smoking marijuana." Brown Jr. had struggled with mental illness for years and was hospitalized for the first time at age 11 for depression. In January 2006, he was hospitalized at Green Oaks Hospital under an emergency protective order. He'd been banging his head, suffering from hallucinations and "hearing voices telling him he's God." The records indicate that Brown, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, wasn’t taking his medication at the time. Additionally, he had taken a friend’s medications to get high and had been smoking marijuana regularly.

Source Of Information: WFAA.com, 6/20/10; DallasNews.com, 6/21/10; ABCNews.com, 6/21/10; The Dallas Morning News, 11/06/10

 

RecordID: 5527

Date: 1/2011

Location: Enon Beach, Clark, OH

Summary: On January 1, 2011, 57-year-old Michael L. Ferryman fatally shot 40-year-old Clark County Deputy Suzanne Waughtel Hopper before he died in a shoot out with police. Also, German Township Police Officer Jeremy Blum was shot in the incident and was in fair condition in a Dayton hospital. According to the trailer park manager where Ferryman lived, Ferryman had complained the day before about a neighbor's dog going to the bathroom in his yard. On January 1st, witnesses said he was outside yelling and shooting pellets through his front screen door. Hopper, one of the responding officers, was looking around the yard for evidence and preparing to take photographs when, Ferryman opened his door and killed her with a single shot. Police from several departments arrived and a gun battle ensued. It wasn’t clear if Ferryman took his own life or was shot by police. Prior History: Ferryman was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2001, after a shootout with authorities in Morgan County, which occurred after he became upset with other campers over firewood. He shot at responding police but no one was injured in the incident. Subsequently, Ferryman stayed at various state facilities for over three years due to his mental illness. In March 2005, he was released and ordered to follow a treatment plan. He remained under the supervision of mental-health caseworkers when Hopper was killed. Subsequent History: On June 27, 2011, 56-year-old Maria Blessing, Ferryman’s girlfriend, pleaded guilty to two felonies in connection with the fatal shootout at Enon Beach Recreation Park in January. Blessing was accused of giving Ferryman, who has a history of mental illness, the .12 gauge shotgun he used to injure German Twp. Police Officer Jeremy Blum and kill Deputy Suzanne Waughtel Hopper.

Source Of Information: DaytonDaileyNews.com, 1/3/11, 6/28/11; The Columbus Dispatch, 1/4/11

 

RecordID: 5050

Date: 4/2009

Location: Headland, Henry, AL

Summary: On April 24, 2006, Fred Davis, 53, was shot and killed near his trailer as law officers swarmed to the scene in rural southeast Alabama following gunfire that killed Headland Police Officer Dexter Hammond and wounded Deputy Ted Yost. Yost was listed as critical at Southeast Alabama Medical Center following the incident. Davis apparently had stopped taking anti-psychotic drugs. Bottles of a prescription drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were found at the scene and several neighbors said he had quit taking the medicine. Phillip Smothers, a neighbor in the Granberry Crossroads community where the shootings occurred, said Davis fired a shotgun into the air around 2 p.m. at a nearby store when Smother’s wife drove up to make a call. “He said, ’Bad things are going to happen around Dothan,’” said Smothers, whose frightened wife called him at work and told him of the encounter. When Smothers got home about two hours later, he called authorities. Yost, 38, was the first to arrive at Davis’ trailer, along with Reserve Officer Mickey Gillis. When Yost got out of his car to knock on Davis’ door, David shot him with a shotgun. Gillis alerted authorities and law enforcement throughout the area headed to the scene. With Gillis pinned down behind Yost’s car, Hammond was the first to arrive. Hammond sought cover at a corner of Granberry Store and, with shotgun raised, yelled “Freeze!” at which point Davis shot him. Quitman County, Ga., officer Eddie Ingram and Abbeville Police investigator Nowell Van Landingham arrived and began firing at Davis from the porch of a nearby home. Davis was shot and killed near a clothesline in his back yard.

Source Of Information: Montgomery Advertiser, 4/26/09; Dothan Eagle, 4/26/09

 

RecordID: 1364

Date: 10/1988

Location: , , MI

Summary: Charles Knowles, 50, used a high-powered rifle to shoot and kill two law enforcement officers and then was killed by officer gunfire after an hours-long standoff with police. Early that morning, Knowles began harrassing other tenants in his apartment building. He proceeded to splash gasoline around the building and then barricaded himself inside his apartment. Police were then called to Knowles’ building and found him babbling incoherently upon their arrival. Knowles fired a shot through the door and killed 41-year-old Lt. James Schmit, a 20-year police veteran. Later that afternoon, police, who were backed up by an armored personnel carrier, forcibly entered Knowles’ apartment with tear gas. Knowles then shot 39-year-old officer Frank Walls, a highly decorated 13-year veteran, who later died in the hospital. Other officers returned fire and killed Knowles. Knowles had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and had been previously hospitalized for mental illness at least six times. A psychiatrist who examined Knowles several months earlier described him as delusional.

Source Of Information: United Press International, October 18, 1988

 

RecordID: 2015

Date: 7/2003

Location: , Wilson, TN

Summary: Fallon Tallent, 21, faces a possible death sentence if found guilty of killing two Wilson County, Tennessee, police officers. Tallent’s grandmother, Cleva Carroll, said that several years ago Tallent was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Carroll said her granddaughter’s mental illness has been exacerbated by drug use. Tallent was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Mt. Juliet Police Sgt. Jerry Mundy and Wilson County Deputy Sheriff John Musice. The two were killed July 9, 2003, while trying to stop a reportedly stolen Mercedes-Benz that had led police on a chase at speeds of more than 100 mph. Police say Tallent was driving the Mercedes when it slammed into the police car. Carroll said she had prayed that Tallent would someday receive a significant jail sentence so that she could get psychological help.

Source Of Information: The Tennessean, July 15, 2003

 

RecordID: 1070

Date: 1/1975

Location: Summit, Waukesha, WI

Summary: On January 26, 1975, 16-year-old Alan Randall shot and killed two police officers, 28-year-old Robert "Rocky" Atkins and 52-year-old Wayne Olson, while they were sitting in their squad car outside the Summit Town Hall. In 1977, a jury found Randall, who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, guilty of the two murders, burglary and auto theft, but a judge later found him not guilty by reason of mental illness. Randall was acquitted in the January 11, 1975, murder of 43-year-old Ronald Hoeft of Summit, from whom Randall stole a car. Subsequent History: On June 21, 2011, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld the a lower court’s denial of Alan Adin Randall’s 2008 request for conditional release from a mental institution. Randall filed three requests for conditional release in the 1990s. All were denied on the basis that he was still considered a danger to himself or others.

Source Of Information: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/28/00, 3/9/09; Post Crescent, 6/21/11

 

RecordID: 1133

Date: 2/2001

Location: Centreville, Queen Anne's, MD

Summary: Francis Mario Zito, 42, was charged with murder in the shooting deaths of Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Deputy Jason C. Schwenz, 28, and Centreville Police Officer Michael Nickerson, 26 on February 13, 2001.They were called to Zito's home after a neighbor complained about loud music. When the officers arrived at Zito's home, Zito refused to come out, rebuffing the pleas of both the officers and his mother who lived in the same trailer park. Minutes later, Zito allegedly unleashed a volley of 12-gauge shotgun blasts through the screen door of his home. A third officer who had arrived at the scene doused Zito with Mace, then handcuffed him. Schwenz died at the scene and Nickerson was pronounced dead after being taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Even after his arrest, Zito's mother asked court officials to order an emergency psychiatric evaluation of her son because he had threatened her, according to a court filing. On May 30, 2002, Zito was sentenced to death. Prior History: At age 8 or 9, Zito was treated with Thorazine, according to a psychiatric evaluation included in his court record. Schizophrenia and manic depression were diagnosed during at least a dozen hospitalizations over the previous two decades, and his condition had worsened because he refused to take his medication, the report states.

Source Of Information: The Washington Post, February 15, 2001 Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 2004,

 

RecordID: 290

Date: 7/1991

Location: , , TX

Summary: Martin Harris, 40, who suffers from schizophrenia, held Jean Lino, in her 60's, hostage in her home for nearly twenty hours. Lino was not harmed. Harris, however, killed a police officer, Jeff Ginn, 29, after Ginn responded to a call about smoke coming from Lino's home. Harris also killed himself.

Source Of Information: The San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 1991, p. A26

 

RecordID: 299

Date: 5/1994

Location: , , NM

Summary: Three men -- Joe Mercer (a former New Mexico legislator), Stephen Mercer (his son), and Sheriff's Lieutenant Bill Sibrava -- were killed in a shoot-out that erupted when sheriff's deputies attempted to serve papers on the younger Mercer to take him in for a psychiatric evaluation. The younger Mercer began the gunfire. He had had two standoffs with the police in the two weeks before the shootings.

Source Of Information: The Post (Denver, CO), May 28, 1994

 

RecordID: 2328

Date: 12/2003

Location: Mishawaka, Saint Joseph, IN

Summary: Raymond Matthew Gilkeson, 30, shot and killed two Mishawaka officers as they attempted to arrest him. Police shot him four times during the confrontation, but he was killed by a shot to the head from his own gun. Gilkeson's mother said that her son had been diagnosed as bipolar, but he refused to take his medication and he drank alcohol. Cpl. Thomas Roberts and Patrolman Bryan S. Verkler were the first Mishawaka police officers to die in the line of duty in more than 70 years. Prior history: Gilkeson's criminal history goes back nearly 10 years and includes prison time in California. His record has several violent and drug offenses and crimes against police officers. The week before the murders, he was convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge after a jury trial for assaulting a man in December 2002. He was scheduled for trial in April 2004 for assaulting two other people.

Source Of Information: South Bend Tribune, December 16, 2003

 

RecordID: 2301

Date: 1/2004

Location: Athens, Limestone, AL

Summary: On January 2, 2004, Farron Clark Barksdale, 29, killed Athens, AL police Sgt. Larry Wayne Russell, 42, and Officer Tony Mims, 40. Barksdale shot the officers when they arrived in the driveway of his mother's house. Later, Officer Doug Duren handcuffed Barksdale and read him his rights. During Barksdale’s trial, Duren testified that Barksdale was calm and told him, "I shot them myself" and that he "threw the gun down by the cop." Barksdale had called police twice that day and asked dispatchers to send FBI agents or police officers to his mother's house. Barksdale has paranoid schizophrenia and had been involuntarily committed to mental hospitals in the past. He was off his medication at the time of the incident. Subsequent History: In August 2007, Barksdale pleaded guilty to five counts of capital murder and two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle for the deaths of officer Tony Mims and Sgt. Larry Russell. The defense said Barksdale has paranoid schizophrenia and also abused drugs. A jury validated his guilty plea on August 6, 2007. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Subsequent History: On August 20, 2007, Farron Barksdale died mysteriously after being incarcerated at Kilby Correctional Facility. Barksdale died 12 days after being transferred from the Limestone County Jail to Kilby, in Mount Meigs near Montgomery. An autopsy found that the 32-year-old died of "complications of bronchopneumonia, with contributory factors of hyperthermia and coagulopathy." Coagulopathy is a blood-clotting disorder, hyperthermia is an abnormally elevated body temperature, and bronchopneumonia is a type of pneumonia. At the time of his death, authorities denied allegations that Barksdale, who was imprisoned for the ambush killing of two police officers, had been beaten. Subsequent History: On June 6, 2008, Mary Barksdale, Farron Barksdale’s mother, sued Alabama prison officials, claiming her son died because he was left in a hot cell after being prescribed drugs that made him susceptible to heat. In a civil rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Mary Barksdale claims prison psychiatrist Dr. Joseph McGinn prescribed drugs for her son's psychological condition including Navane, Cogentin and Triavil, all of which "create heat-intolerance in the human body." Farron Barksdale had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, but had been treated without drugs at Limestone. On the day of Barksdale's death, the suit claims, the temperature in Montgomery reached 106 degrees. The prison is not air conditioned. Prior History: Court records reveal Barksdale was a tormented man convinced that police, the government, gangsters and others were directing microwaves at his brain; a man who tore cable out of his mother's home because of his belief "they" were using the wires and television to tap into his brain. At the request of Barksdale's mother, Probate Judge Mike Davis had committed Barksdale to mental institutions five times. The first commitment was in September 2001. The latest was in June 2003. Each time, Barksdale's medical diagnosis was paranoid schizophrenia. Municipal court records also document several times that police went to Barksdale's home. He told his mother "that he has wanted off this planet since the age of 13 years and that he did not want to have to kill another person to accomplish this task." A family member said, "he's heard voices since he was 10 and we always referred to it as devils."' Barksdale was able to pass a background check and purchase a rifle and ammunition because his commitments didn't show up in the federal database and because he did not admit his mental disability on a form provided by the gun dealer. Subsequent History: In December 2008, the Alabama Department of Corrections reopened its investigation into the death of inmate Farron Barksdale after a fellow inmate claimed he saw correctional officers beating him. Prison system spokesman Brian Corbett said that department investigators were looking into the claims and that Commissioner Richard Allen asked the Alabama Bureau of Investigations to reopen their case as well. J.D. Bennett, who is currently serving a life sentence at Holman prison, wrote an October 24 letter to Montgomery County Circuit Judge Eugene Reese, saying he was at Kilby and saw four correctional officers beat Barksdale severely. Bennett said the four officers first beat Barksdale in an obscure group of cells, then continued the assault as they took him down a main hall and put him in the cell where he was found. Subsequent History: In September 2009, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Mary Barksdale was settled with the state Department of Corrections for $750,000. Mary Barksdale was represented by Sarah Geraghty, an attorney for the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, and Huntsville attorney Jake Watson. The suit alleged that inmate Farron Barksdale, who suffered from schizophrenia, died because of "the deliberate indifference, medical neglect and negligence" of the prison staff. "Mr. Barksdale was medicated with an unusually large dose of psychotropic medications that made his body unable to withstand high temperatures, confined to an isolation cell with a medically dangerous degree of heat and left there without adequate monitoring," the complaint said. "He fell into a coma and died." Subsequent History: In November 2009, the Department of Corrections announced that it would make available for viewing by the media all prison records concerning the death of Farron Barksdale. The Alabama Supreme Court ruled in September 2009, following a two-year court battle, that the DOC must make public incident reports and other records relating to the death. DOC spokesman Brian Corbett said that the 795 pages in the records were mailed to Southern Center for Human Rights attorneys and Jake Watson, the attorney representing Farron Barksdale’s mother, Mary Barksdale, on November 20. Although an autopsy determined Barksdale died of hyperthermia after he was left in a single-inmate cell when temperatures reached 100-plus degrees and that drug therapy exacerbated his condition, bruising on his body was unexplained. Sarah Geraghty, an SCHR attorney, said Monday she was disappointed that in the entire 795 pages there was no explanation for the bruising on Barksdale’s body. “It is now clear that Mr. Barksdale died of hyperthermia after being highly medicated with anti-psychotic drugs during a heat wave and unmonitored in a cell that was not air-conditioned,” said Geraghty. “But that still doesn’t explain the bruising. Photographs of Mr. Barksdale show extensive bruising. EMTs found massive bruises the size of salad plates that had been newly sustained. “It makes it clear that he did not have the bruises when he entered the prison, but he had them before he died. The Department of Corrections went through the motions, but was ultimately content to draw no conclusions about how Mr. Barksdale sustained the bruising to his body.”

Source Of Information: The Associated Press, 1/5/04, 1/12/04, 1/25/04, 6/3/04;The Decatur Daily (AL), 1/9/04, 1/12/04, 2/7/07, 8/7/07, 8/13/07, 8/14/07, 8/15/07, 8/16/07, 8/21/07, 8/22/07, 8/23/07, 8/28/07, 9/21/07; News Courier (AL), 1/12/04, 1/26/04

 

RecordID: 411

Date: 7/1998

Location: Washington, , DC

Summary: Russell E. Weston Jr., a man with paranoid schizophrenia, allegedly shot and killed two Capitol Police Officers at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on July 24, 1998. Weston, who spent 20 years in and out of psychiatric hospitals, had told psychiatrists that he was the inventor of a time machine that was being misused by "evil 'cannibals'" in the Clinton administration and that this time machine was controlled in a room in the Capitol. A federal judge ruled on April 22, 1999 that Weston was incompetent to stand trial and ordered him sent to the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, NC. If Weston's mental state does not improve through medication, he could eventually be involuntarily committed on a long-term basis to a secure hospital facility rather than a prison. In such a situation, he would not be found guilty of criminal responsibility for his alleged actions. Subsequent History: On November 19, 2004, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan approved a court order to initiate civil commitment proceedings against Weston and put criminal prosecution on hold indefinitely. Sullivan issued the order at the request of federal prosecutors, who acknowledged that Weston was still not competent to stand trial despite nearly three years of court-ordered medication. Psychiatrist Sally Johnson had previously testified at a March 2004 hearing that Weston's mental state had "significantly" improved during the past two years, and noted that he had made advancements since being prescribed a regimen of Clozaril. The U.S. Attorney's Office had previously filed an argument Feb. 24, 2004 in response to a memorandum seeking to have the medication order rescinded in light of the Supreme Court decision on Sell vs. United States. Although Weston had been forcibly medicated since January 2002, it was argued then that Weston's mental state had not significantly improved during those two years. Prison psychiatrists had told a judge on June 7, 2003 that Weston's condition was improving as a result of the medication and he would eventually be competent enough to stand trial. Stating there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Weston's mental status had improved, Judge ruled on July 15, 2004 to extend the court order requiring Weston's forced medication.

Source Of Information: The Buffalo News, 9/24/98; AP Online, 12/4/98; The Washington Times - 4/23/99; AP Online - 9/9/99; Legal Times - 6/23/03; Roll Call - 9/15/03; 10/2/03; 2/9/04; 2/11/04; 3/2/04; 3/15/04; 7/19/04; 11/22/04

 

RecordID: 1870

Date: 10/1983

Location: Sapulpa, Creek, OK

Summary: Charles Enoch Brown shot and killed Oklahoma state trooper Leon Bench on October 5, 1983 after Bench stopped him for a routine traffic violation outside Sapulpa, OK. A psychologist at Eastern State Hospital evaluated Brown and found that he was not competent to assist in his defense and was mentally ill, but could be restored to competency in time. In 1984, Brown was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. However, Brown's mental competency again became an issue in 1999 when U.S. Chief District Judge Terry Kern overturned Brown's original conviction after ruling that Brown was denied state funds for an independent psychiatrist to assist with his insanity defense at trial. Kern issued an order in January 1999 that Brown be re-tried for the slaying or be released within 120 days because officials said he had not yet regained competency. Subsequent History: The judge issued another 120-day order in April 1999 when an Eastern State psychologist who evaluated Brown declared he was still not competent to assist in his defense. Brown himself testified at the competency hearing that he still heard voices from a "machine at the welfare department".

Source Of Information: The Associated Press, November 3, 1999; Tulsa World, September 11, 1999

 

RecordID: 1887

Date: 5/2002

Location: , Pittsylvania, VA

Summary: Roy Douglas Inge Jr., 24, was sentenced to life in prison for slaying Deputy Frankie Betterton, 43, during a traffic stop that occurred on May 17, 2002. Inge shot Betterton once in the head with a .380-caliber gun to avoid being served with a warrant for trespassing at a veterinary clinic operated by Betterton's wife. Betterton had helped her establish the business. Judge William Alexander ignored the jury’s recommendation to give Inge the death penalty. Just moments before Alexander announced his decision, Inge made a rambling speech in which he denied the slaying. As they did throughout the trial, defense attorneys Mark W. Claytor and Jeffrey L. Dorsey yesterday argued to Alexander that Inge suffers from schizophrenia and is delusional and that his life should be spared. At trial, the defense called psychologist Evan Nelson, who testified that Inge did not believe Betterton was dead and saw the trial as a farce intended to develop a new identity for him. At one point during the trial, Pittsylvania Commonwealth's Attorney David Grimes played a three-hour recording of a conversation Inge had with state police investigators. Inge later took the stand and denied the slaying and claimed the voice on the recording was not his.

Source Of Information: Richmond Times Dispatch, April 25, 2003

 

RecordID: 85

Date: /1993

Location: , , MN

Summary: Donald Polcyn, a person with paranoid schizophrenia, shot Officer Ervid Clemons to death. (Article provides no further details.)

Source Of Information: Mental Health Advocate, AMI MN, September/October 1993

 

RecordID: 99

Date: 9/1994

Location: , , MT

Summary: On September 7, 1994, Bobby Dean McDonald, 48, a person with paranoid schizophrenia, apparently shot to death Officer Shane Chadwick, 28, a policeman answering a noise disturbance call. Chadwick was married and had a four-year-old son from a previous marriage. McDonald's difficulties began with his service in Thailand during the Vietnam War. According to relatives, he returned from the service prone to talk to himself, walk in circles, and behave like a "zombie." He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in Canada and received mental health treatment there. He was also twice cited by the Canadian police for carrying concealed weapons. After living in Canada for decades, McDonald returned to the United States, settling in Great Falls, Montana. In Great Falls, he was known for walking around town in concealing facial wraps and for spreading birdseed for hundreds of birds near his apartment. The noise disturbance call was made by one of McDonald's neighbors. After McDonald allegedly shot Chadwick, an extended standoff ensued between McDonald and the police. McDonald ultimately surrendered after being wounded in three places. McDonald then died a few weeks later after suffering an apparent heart attack in his jail cell before he could be fully arraigned or psychologically examined.

Source Of Information: Great Falls Tribune, October 2, 1994 Great Falls Tribune, October 8, 1994 Great Falls Tribune, October 26, 1994

 

RecordID: 107

Date: 5/1997

Location: , , MD

Summary: Baron Michael Cherry, 41, shot Lieutenant Owen E. Sweeney Jr. to death through a closed wooden door. Lieutenant Sweeney was trying to coax Cherry into leaving his apartment at the time of the slaying. Cherry suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. According to his wife, Denise Cherry, Cherry suffered a breakdown seven years ago, hearing voices and saying that white worms were crawling on his head. Cherry's wife commented that he had started refusing to take his medication three weeks before the shooting because one of the two drugs prescribed for him made him tired. According to the article, Denise Cherry repeatedly took Cherry to a community mental health center. The doctors there wanted to give him injections, but he refused. The doctors there would not admit him to a hospital. On May 7, 1997, Denise Cherry finally called the police. The standoff that led to the shooting followed their arrival.

Source Of Information: The Sun (Baltimore, MD), May 9, 1997, p. 1A

 

RecordID: 7

Date: 7/1996

Location: New Orleans, Orleans, LA

Summary: On July 17, 1996, Salvador Perez shot police officer Chris McCormick to death in New Orleans after the officer and his partner responded to a call about a suspicious person in a back yard. When Perez was confronted, he pulled a handgun and shot McCormick in the chest. Perez was charged with first-degree murder but plead not guilty by reason of insanity. In pre-trial proceedings, seven doctors, three hired by the state, testified that Perez was psychotic and delusional at the time of the shooting. Nevertheless, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Perez, 50, a farmer from Seguin,Texas who only speaks Spanish and is described as having "limited intelligence", had driven over 500 miles from his home to New Orleans with his 13-year-old son because he believed he was being pursued by killers. Until he received anti-psychotic medication in jail, he could not recall the killing or understand why he was imprisoned. Perez had no prior criminal history.

Source Of Information: The Times-Picayune, March 12, 1998, p. A1; The Times-Picayune, May 28, 1998, p. B7

 

RecordID: 14

Date: 7/1996

Location: Meiners Oaks, Ventura, CA

Summary: Michael Raymond Johnson shot Sheriff's Deputy Peter Aguirre to death in July 1996 when the officer responded to a domestic disturbance call at the home of Johnson's estranged wife. Johnson was a Vietnam veteran and volunteer addiction counselor at a Salvation Army treatment center at the time of the shooting. However, he had a long history of paranoid schizophrenia and of suffering from delusions. Two years prior to the shooting, he thought people were trying to poison the world with multimedia and that his parents were Nazi agents. He had also committed several previous crimes, including robbery and assault. While serving time in prison for robbing a McDonald's, Johnson showed evidence of mental illness but did not receive treatment or further evaluation. At the time of the murder, the police found an empty bottle of the antipsychotic Haldol in his car. At trial, Johnson was found guilty of first-degree murder and four other criminal charges and was deemed eligible for the death penalty.

Source Of Information: Los Angeles Times, February 18, 1998, p. B1 Los Angeles Times, February 27, 1998

 

RecordID: 50

Date: 10/1996

Location: , , IL

Summary: Eric Lee, 23, killed police officer Anthony Samfay, 26, during a routine traffic stop on October 17, 1996. Lee emerged from his car with a .357 Magnum and shot Samfay six times. Lee stated in a taped confession that he killed Samfay because he was enraged over "things at home," not over the traffic stop. Lee's attorney said in his opening statement that Lee suffers from mental illness. The attorney said that Lee was hospitalized at the age of 16 and diagnosed as "dangerous and in need of a structured environment," yet Lee never received further treatment.

Source Of Information: Chicago Tribune, December 4, 1997, p. 1

 

RecordID: 68

Date: 2/1992

Location: Jackson, Hinds, MS

Summary: David Smith, 30, who has paranoid schizophrenia, has been sentenced to life in prison plus 15 years after pleading guilty to capital murder and to burglarizing his mother's house. On February 4, 1992, he came to his mother's house to get some money, but no one came to the door. At that point, he crawled through a window to get in, and his relatives called the police. Officer Rickey Joe Simmons arrived at the scene. Smith and Simmons wrestled for Simmons' gun. Smith, who gained control of it, shot Simmons to death with it.

Source Of Information: Clarion-Ledger, July 10, 1993

 

RecordID: 847

Date: 10/1999

Location: Madison, Dane, WI

Summary: Jason Friske, who suffered from depression and psychosis, ended his life and that of Sgt. Robert Kimberling on October 6, 1999 in a murder-suicide. Prior History: In high school, Jason excelled in academics and sports, but his mental illness became apparent in college. He started abusing drugs and alcohol and frequently got in trouble with the law. His parents said they tried to get him hospitalized, but had difficulty because he had no insurance. On the day of the killings, Jason stole his father's Chevy Blazer and filled the tank with gas at a truck stop without paying. At his father's request, Wisconsin authorities had alerted law enforcement throughout the country to be on the lookout for Friske's truck and warned that he might be armed. Sgt. Kimberling, who stopped Jason for what he believed was a routine traffic stop, had not yet heard this alert. Jason shot and killed Sgt. Kimberling and then killed himself. His parents speculated that he had stopped taking his medication prior to the incident.

Source Of Information: Capital Times (Madison, WI), January 20, 2000, p. 1A The Kansas City Star, October 9, 1999, p. B1 The Associated Press, October 8, 1999

 

RecordID: 245

Date: 7/1991

Location: Bethesda, Montgomery, VA

Summary: Sergeant Major Howard McAllister, 47, has been charged with murder for shooting Albee Forney, 57, a Department of Defense police officer on July 24, 1991. McAllister also shot Army Sergeant Richard Myer; he, however, survived. The shootings occurred when Forney and Myer arrived to evict McAllister from his barracks room on the grounds of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Prior History: According to records in a federal suit, McAllister had been diagnosed earlier in 1991 with delusions and a persecution complex. McAllister had received psychiatric treatment at Walter Reed.

Source Of Information: The Washington Post, August 1, 1991, p. C6

 

RecordID: 280

Date: 9/1986

Location: Indianapolis, Marion, IN

Summary: Mike Wayne Jackson, 40, a criminal with convictions going back twenty years and a history of psychiatric problems, shot Tom Gahl, his probation officer, without provocation as Gahl came to his door. The shooting launched a robbery and killing spree during which Jackson murdered two other people with a sawed-off shotgun, and kidnapped and terrorized numerous others. It ended when Jackson killed himself in a Missouri barn after an eleven-day manhunt by police. Prior History: Jackson was a drifter who had been in and out of jails and mental institutions in the twenty years before the murder. Jackson was first arrested in the 9th grade for armed robbery, and subsequently was arrested more than 30 times on such charges as rape, robbery, assault with intent to kill and auto theft. He had been hospitalized for drug and alcohol addiction, chronic paranoid schizophrenia, and anti-social personality disorder. His mother had asked authorities the year before the killings to have Jackson committed permanently after he broke two of her ribs. In April, 1985, Jackson was indicted on federal firearms charges and sent to the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, where psychiatrists deemed him competent to stand trial but reported that he had a "violent nature" and "chronic paranoid fears".

Source Of Information: The New York Times, February 8, 1993 United Press International, September 23, 1986 The Plain Dealer, June 7, 1993

 

RecordID: 300

Date: 11/1994

Location: , Madison, AL

Summary: On November 1, 1994, Sheriff's Deputies Thomas Lewis, 42, and Bill Thrower, 41, arrived at the home David Zmyewski, 31, shared with his mother to serve commitment papers on him. Zmyewski opened fire on them, killing Lewis and wounding Thrower. He was then himself killed in the fire returned by the deputies. Prior History: Zmyewski had a history of extended psychiatric hospitalization, medication noncompliance, and violence. He had been hospitalized in 1988, when he tried to shoot his father with a shotgun. After five years of treatment, Zmyewski had been released and had returned home. Zmyewski's brother, Mark Zmyewski, said that mental health workers had indicated that his brother had been released because he would not take his medication or cooperate in his treatment. Once home, Zmyewski had struck his mother. According to Sheriff's Investigator Dannie Curtain, Zmyewski's sister Tamara Pearson had filed the commitment petition after Zmyewski chased her and her children from the home he shared with his mother with a shotgun. Madison County Sheriff Joe Patterson commented, "'The most dangerous part of our job is picking up mental patients.'"

Source Of Information: Huntsville News, November 2, 1994 The Huntsville Times, November 27, 1994

 

RecordID: 301

Date: 2/1995

Location: Winston-Salem, Forsyth, NC

Summary: George Franklin Page, who suffered from bipolar disorder, shot Police Officer Steven Levi Amos in the chest with a sniper's rifle in February 1995 outside Page's apartment complex in Winston-Salem, NC. Amos, 24, later died of his wound. The shooting occurred when Amos came with Senior Officer John Pratt to investigate a report of shots fired from Page's apartment building. Page, then 54, shot Amos as the police officer got out of his car. Page was convicted of murder in 1996 and was scheduled to be executed by injection Feb. 27, 2004 at Central Prison. According to his attorney, Walt Jones, Page suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, Jones said, but a judge wouldn't grant defense attorneys $3,000 to $5,000 to hire an independent expert to examine him. "We have had a mental-health evaluation done on Mr. Page that the jury should have heard," Jones said.

Source Of Information: Winston-Salem Journal, March 1, 1995 Winston-Salem Journal (NC), February 19, 2004 Winston-Salem Journal, February 24, 2004

 

RecordID: 304

Date: 9/1990

Location: Elsmore, Allen, KS

Summary: A mental patient who had been a long-term voluntary admittee at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Chillicothe, Missouri, shot an Elsmore, Kansas, police officer in September 1990. The officer ultimately died.

Source Of Information: Dayton, Ohio News, November 17, 1991

 

RecordID: 307

Date: 8/1995

Location: Chatsworth, Los Angeles, CA

Summary: Daniel Allan Tuffree, a mentally disturbed Chatsworth teacher, killed Police Officer Michael Clark on August 4, 1995. Clark had been sent to check on Tuffree.

Source Of Information: Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1995

 

RecordID: 1500

Date: 8/2000

Location: , Clallam, WA

Summary: Thomas Martin Roberts, 53, is charged with first-degree murder for shooting Sheriff's Deputy Wallace "Wally" E. Davis, 48, in the head August 5, 2000, on the porch of Roberts' home in Clallam County. Davis had responded to a disturbance call at Roberts' address and - as deputies had many times in the past - had gone to calm the man down. After the shooting, he holed up in his house for 25 hours until tear gas drove him out. A loaded shotgun was found inside. A search later turned up a small arsenal and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Clallam County Sheriff W. J. "Joe" Hawe said, "This is a guy who's supposed to be on medication. Why didn't he take it?"

Source Of Information: The Seattle Times, August 13, 2000

 

RecordID: 1507

Date: 6/2002

Location: Newcastle, King, WA

Summary: Ronald Keith Matthews, whose relatives say is mentally ill, was accused of fatally shooting King County Deputy Richard Herzog on June 22, 2002. Matthews has since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Matthews' mental problems were apparent that day, when he ran naked from his Newcastle, WA apartment and screamed that he was God. Witnesses say Herzog was trying to calm him when they began to struggle and Matthews grabbed Herzog's gun and shot him once, knocking him to the ground. Matthews then stood over him and shot him ten more times. Court documents suggested Matthews suffered from paranoia and depression, and Matthews later told detectives he had smoked crack earlier that day. Matthews was charged with aggravated first degree murder, but prosecutors weren't seeking the death penalty because they believe Matthews is mentally ill. Subsequent History: A jury found Matthews guilty of aggravated first-degree murder on August 19, 2004. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden then sentenced him to life in prison without parole. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng earlier had decided not to seek the death penalty because of Matthews' past mental problems. Matthews had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. In one court document, defense attorneys Russell V. Leonard and Steven Witchley said Matthews, 46 , has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder worsened by psychosis, organic brain dysfunction and chronic chemical dependency. In August 2004, Dr. Pablo Stewart testified for the defense that Matthews was legally insane during the shooting because of a blend of bipolar disorder, crack cocaine and the wrong medication. Dr. Park Deitz, psychiatrist for the prosecution, said Matthews was psychotic when he shot Herzog, but only because he had smoked crack earlier in the day. Prior History: Eleven days before Herzog was killed, Matthews had been released from the state prison in Monroe after serving time for assaulting a police officer. In that incident, Matthews had run out of his apartment in September 2001, and three officers responding to a domestic-violence call were waiting with guns drawn. They quickly put their weapons away once they realized Matthews was unarmed, but he charged at an officer anyway, punching her in the face. Matthews was wrestled to the ground by several officers, but not before his face was covered with pepper spray and he was shot at least twice with a Taser gun. He received a psychiatric evaluation while in prison for that crime that alluded to mental illness.

Source Of Information: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 9 & October 4, 2002; King County Journal, June 5, 2004; Seattle Times, June 22/July 27/August 3/August 13, 2004; Seattle Post Intelligencer, September 24, 2004

 

RecordID: 646

Date: 6/1998

Location: Meridian, Ada, ID

Summary: Scott Yager, 35, a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, has been convicted of first-degree murder for shooting Idaho State Police Trooper Linda Huff to death at the state police headquarters. The article recounts that, in a television news interview, Yager indicated that he went to the headquarters intending to provoke a gunfight because he was fed up with his life and that he fired the first shot in the parking lot shootout with Huff. At the time of the article, Yager’s trial was in the penalty phase.

Source Of Information: Idaho Statesman, May 22, 1999, p. 4B

 

RecordID: 1133

Date: 2/2001

Location: Centreville, Queen Anne's, MD

Summary: Francis Mario Zito, 42, was charged with murder in the shooting deaths of Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Deputy Jason C. Schwenz, 28, and Centreville Police Officer Michael Nickerson, 26 on February 13, 2001.They were called to Zito's home after a neighbor complained about loud music. When the officers arrived at Zito's home, Zito refused to come out, rebuffing the pleas of both the officers and his mother who lived in the same trailer park. Minutes later, Zito allegedly unleashed a volley of 12-gauge shotgun blasts through the screen door of his home. A third officer who had arrived at the scene doused Zito with Mace, then handcuffed him. Schwenz died at the scene and Nickerson was pronounced dead after being taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Even after his arrest, Zito's mother asked court officials to order an emergency psychiatric evaluation of her son because he had threatened her, according to a court filing. On May 30, 2002, Zito was sentenced to death. Prior History: At age 8 or 9, Zito was treated with Thorazine, according to a psychiatric evaluation included in his court record. Schizophrenia and manic depression were diagnosed during at least a dozen hospitalizations over the previous two decades, and his condition had worsened because he refused to take his medication, the report states.

Source Of Information: The Washington Post, February 15, 2001 Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 2004,

 

RecordID: 1205

Date: 9/2001

Location: Detroit, Wayne, MI

Summary: David Daniel Serra, 29, shot and killed Ron Sheffield, a federal police officer, at the McNamara Federal Building in downtown Detroit on September 21, 2001. Police have stated that Serra shot Sheffield in the chest when the officer tried to check his bag. Other officers then shot Serra several times in the crowded office tower lobby, and police later found bullets, shooting paraphenalia and a handgun receipt in his nearby car. Serra's father stated that Serra was diagnosed two years prior with paranoid schizophrenia and depression and, at the time of the shooting, was "under a doctor's care, was taking his medication and was progressing well." Serra pled guilty to second-degree murder under a plea agreement and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Source Of Information: The Detroit News, September 23, 2001 The Detroit News, December 24, 2002 CNN, March 21, 2003

 

RecordID: 372

Date: 6/1997

Location: Cheyenne, Laramie, WY

Summary: Richard Dowdell, 27, a man suffering from psychosis and clinical depression, participated in an attempt to break out of the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Cheyenne, WY on June 26, 1997 that resulted in the death of Cpl. Wayne Martinez. Although Dowdell had been given antipsychotic medication, he had stopped taking it at the time of the murder due to its side effects (drowsiness and painful muscle cramps). A psychiatrist quoted in the article asserted that Dowdell would not have participated in the murder had he not been psychotic.

Source Of Information: The Associated Press, September 9, 1998 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), April 15, 2003

 

RecordID: 410

Date: 9/1998

Location: , , GA

Summary: Byron Fleming, 32, allegedly shot Deputy Kenneth Lee Wimberly, 32, to death in September 1998 at an apartment complex where Wimberly was working security. According to police, Fleming shouted, "I am the Lord" and "You can't fight me, Satan" at the time of the shooting. Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Tom Davis suggested that Fleming's mental state may be at issue in his trial for the shooting.

Source Of Information: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, September 24, 1998 The Associated Press, Sept. 24, 1998

 

RecordID: 411

Date: 7/1998

Location: Washington, , DC

Summary: Russell E. Weston Jr., a man with paranoid schizophrenia, allegedly shot and killed two Capitol Police Officers at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on July 24, 1998. Weston, who spent 20 years in and out of psychiatric hospitals, had told psychiatrists that he was the inventor of a time machine that was being misused by "evil 'cannibals'" in the Clinton administration and that this time machine was controlled in a room in the Capitol. A federal judge ruled on April 22, 1999 that Weston was incompetent to stand trial and ordered him sent to the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, NC. If Weston's mental state does not improve through medication, he could eventually be involuntarily committed on a long-term basis to a secure hospital facility rather than a prison. In such a situation, he would not be found guilty of criminal responsibility for his alleged actions. Subsequent History: On November 19, 2004, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan approved a court order to initiate civil commitment proceedings against Weston and put criminal prosecution on hold indefinitely. Sullivan issued the order at the request of federal prosecutors, who acknowledged that Weston was still not competent to stand trial despite nearly three years of court-ordered medication. Psychiatrist Sally Johnson had previously testified at a March 2004 hearing that Weston's mental state had "significantly" improved during the past two years, and noted that he had made advancements since being prescribed a regimen of Clozaril. The U.S. Attorney's Office had previously filed an argument Feb. 24, 2004 in response to a memorandum seeking to have the medication order rescinded in light of the Supreme Court decision on Sell vs. United States. Although Weston had been forcibly medicated since January 2002, it was argued then that Weston's mental state had not significantly improved during those two years. Prison psychiatrists had told a judge on June 7, 2003 that Weston's condition was improving as a result of the medication and he would eventually be competent enough to stand trial. Stating there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Weston's mental status had improved, Judge ruled on July 15, 2004 to extend the court order requiring Weston's forced medication.

Source Of Information: The Buffalo News, 9/24/98; AP Online, 12/4/98; The Washington Times - 4/23/99; AP Online - 9/9/99; Legal Times - 6/23/03; Roll Call - 9/15/03; 10/2/03; 2/9/04; 2/11/04; 3/2/04; 3/15/04; 7/19/04; 11/22/04

 

RecordID: 656

Date: 7/1998

Location: Sanford, Seminole, FL

Summary: On July 8, 1998, 43-year-old Alan Singletary, a man suffering from mental illness, killed Deputy Eugene Gregory during a landlord-tenant dispute that evolved into a 13-hour standoff between Singletary, Seminole sheriff's deputies, and SWAT team members. Singletary also wounded two other law enforcement officers before being killed himself during the ensuing gunbattle. Singletary's family had tried for years to get him help for his paranoid schizophrenia, but were not successful. Following her husband's death, Ms. Gregory joined Sheriff Don Eslinger and Alice Petree, Alan Singletary's sister, in a task force studying ways to treat mentally ill people who break the law.

Source Of Information: The Orlando Sentinel, 7/8/98; 12/12/99; Seminole Chronicle, 4/23/08; Seminole Voice, 7/13/11

 

RecordID: 557

Date: 10/1997

Location: , , NJ

Summary: Samuel Shipps, a former psychiatric patient, shot and killed Scott Gonzalez, 29, a New Jersey state trooper, in a gun battle on a deserted road. Shipps then shot himself in the head as police units closed in on him and died of his injuries five days later. His mother reported that he had stopped taking his medication. Prior History: Shipps had been arrested by Gonzalez previously on January 2, 1995 after he stabbed himself in the stomach during a domestic dispute with his brother-in-law. Shipps subsequently served 186 days in the Warren County Jail, the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital and two residential drug treatment programs. At the time of the shooting, Shipps was still on probation for assaults and weapons charges stemming from the 1995 incident, and was scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty to a subsequent charge of cocaine use. Shipps had also been arrested in 1989 and 1991 for leading police on chases.

Source Of Information: The Record (Bergen County, NJ), March 16, 1999 The Record (Bergen County, NJ), October 30, 1997

 

RecordID: 564

Date: 4/1998

Location: , , KY

Summary: Timothy R. Doyle, 41, a man who suffers from manic depression and paranoid schizophrenia and has a history of psychiatric hospitalization, has been found guilty but mentally ill of first-degree manslaughter in the death of Alcoholic Beverage Control Agent Brandon Thacker. Thacker was shot while driving in a convoy with other agents down the Western Kentucky Parkway on April 16, 1998. According to Doyle's attorney, Mark Stanziano, Doyle decided he had stumbled on an attempt by Thacker to kidnap Jennifer Shearer, a female agent driving in front of him. Doyle pulled alongside Thacker's unmarked cruiser and shot him. Doyle testified that he thought Thacker had pointed a gun at him, and he had feared for his life. But prosecution counsel G.L. Ovey said that no one but Doyle had believed that Thacker was brandishing a gun. The jury has recommended a prison sentence of twenty years. Formal sentencing is scheduled for May 3, 1999.

Source Of Information: The Associated Press, March 9, 1999 The Associated Press, March 25, 1999

 

RecordID: 583

Date: 12/1998

Location: Goshen, Elkhart, IN

Summary: Frankie Allen Salyers, 20, a man who, according to a defense psychologist, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, including symptoms of delusions and hallucations, allegedly shot Goshen Police Officer Thomas Goodwin, 31, to death on December 11, 1998. Police say Salyers has confessed to the killing. Family members also testified at the hearing that Salyers experienced hallucinations and said that they had tried unsuccessfully to secure him mental health treatment at a local mental health facility. Two of the experts who testified at Salyers’s competency hearing found him incompetent to stand trial but a third found him competent.

Source Of Information: South Bend Tribune, March 11, 1999, p. D1

 

RecordID: 605

Date: 4/1998

Location: Millbrae, San Mateo, CA

Summary: Marvin Patrick Sullivan, 44, a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, was charged with murdering Millbrae Police Officer Dave Chetcuti, 43, a motorcycle officer, during a routine traffic stop on California’s Highway 101 in April, 1998. Sullivan was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, possession of explosives, and the killing of a police officer. On June 29, 1999, two court-appointed experts determined that Sullivan was not competent to stand trial, and he was sent to Atascadero State Hospital. Medication restored him to competency in September 2001, but after he was returned to jail his condition worsened and he refused to take his medication. Since Sullivan did not restart his medications, he was confined to a state mental hospital in Napa by Superior Court Judge Dale Hahn in 2002, who sent him there for three years or until he regains his competency. His attorney, Vincent O'Malley, said Sullivan remains medicated but is still not fit to assist in his defense. Subsequent History: On January 25, 2005, Sullivan, 50, was officially certified as competent, and plans were made to transfer him from the hospital to jail to prepare for trial. In order to prevent Sullivan's decompensation in prison while awaiting trail, Deputy District Attorney Martin Murray planned to introduce as a precedent the 2003 Supreme Court case Sell vs. United States, which set guidelines for when a court may order a defendant awaiting trial to be involuntarily medicated. Prior History: Sullivan had a history of threatening and violent behavior. In 1995, he was hospitalized for five months after sending a threatening letter to Municipal Court clerks in Tracy, California. Hospital officials eventually found him competent to stand trial for charges arising out of the incident, but the judge subsequently dismissed the case. In 1997, he was again found incompetent to stand trial after it was discovered that he had concealed a bayonet during a shoplifting incident. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was committed to a psychiatric unit.

Source Of Information: The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/30/99; San Jose Mercury News, 10/6/03; San Mateo County Times, 1/7/04, 1/27/05; San Mateo Daily Journal, 1/25/05; San Francisco Examiner, 1/28/05; Examiner.com, 4/25/08

 

RecordID: 722

Date: /1984

Location: Orlando, Orange, FL

Summary: Thomas Provenzano won his fourth reprieve from the electric chair in September, 1999 with a stay of execution from the Florida Supreme Court. Provenzano had been scheduled to be executed for walking into an Orlando courtroom in 1984 and opening fire, killing a bailiff and paralyzing two others. Provenzano’s attorney claims that he was mentally ill before the killings and still suffers from mental problems. Provenzano’s current symptoms include drafting letters signed “Jesus Christ” and stuffing his mouth with rags to keep out demons. His attorney requested the stay of execution based on Provenzano’s mental illness. Retired Judge E. Randolph Bentley ruled that, while Provenzano is technically sane enough to be executed under Florida law, it would be impossible for the state to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt given Provenzano's "delusional belief that he is Jesus Christ".

Source Of Information: St. Petersburg Times, August 25, 1999 The Orlando Sentinel, September 24, 1999 Unknown publication, December 14, 1999

 

RecordID: 814

Date: 4/1975

Location: Mount Holly, Burlington, NJ

Summary: In New Jersey, James Carhart was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the sniper killing of Mount Holly police officer Donald Aleshire and Hainesport policeman William Wurtz on Good Friday 1975 after he barricaded himself at his home. Mount Holly officer John Holmes was also seriously injured during the three-hour stand-off and died in 1992. Carhart has been held at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital ever since and has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Superior Court Judge Marvin Schlosser had previously granted Carhart's request to be taken out of Ancora every six weeks or so and escorted to visit his sick mother, infuriating members of the law enforcement community. However, in a November 2003 closed hearing, Schlosser ruled that Carhart, now 51, was still a danger to himself and society after learning that Ancora staff had discovered Carhart with a tool box containing a screwdriver in April, and with a letter opener in September. He could not explain how he obtained them or where they came from, Brennan said. Based on the assessment of Ancora psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Liberatore, Carhart was returned to the lowest privilege level, at least temporarily, although his privileges could be returned at a later time. Carhart was described as a cooperative patient who takes his medication. Subsequent History: In March 2008, a state appeals court ruled that James Carhart, 55, was still "mentally ill, a danger to himself and others and is still in need of continued hospitalization." The ruling upholds a November 30, 2006, decision by Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith Jr., who concluded that hospital rule violations by Carhart precluded him from leaving the grounds or getting more privileges while there. Carhart appealed that decision. At that hearing the patient's own doctors testified he should not be released because he had been found in possession of a razor-like instrument and gave a friend keys to part of the facility. They also testified he was still mentally impaired from schizophrenia despite medication and had thoughts that were inconsistent with reality.

Source Of Information: Cherry Hill Courier-Post, 11/8/03; Vineland Daily Journal, 3/27/08

 

RecordID: 907

Date: 10/1993

Location: , , KY

Summary: Peter F. Bard, 35, is accused of killing Sheriff's deputy Floyd Cheeks on October 27, 1993 while the deputy was trying to serve court papers on Bard's brother. Bard has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and it is not clear whether he will be found competent to stand trial. He has been found incompetent for six years and treated at a mental hospital. According to a past evaluation, Bard believes he is a ruler of some other land, that he is a king who commands an army of thousands. Psychologist Steven Simon has testified that Bard believes Cheeks is still alive.

Source Of Information: The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), March 29, 2000, p. 3B

 

RecordID: 1148

Date: 3/2001

Location: Independence, Jackson, MO

Summary: Officer Terry Foster had been called to Jeffrey R. Keith's home three times since the summer before and was able to calm him down on all three occasions. When another call came from the man's family, Foster, a 32-year-old veteran who was three weeks from retirement, thought he would be able to help again, police said. But this time, both men ended up dead when Keith shot Foster and then died in a fire that he started in his bedroom. "Terry was familiar with the situation, knew the man, knew his family," said police spokesman Bill Pross. "Everybody there knew Terry." Keith's family told police that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was delusional, Pross said. But the police said he had not been violent during previous calls to the house, which he shared with his parents in southeast Independence, Missouri.

Source Of Information: The Associated Press, March 19, 2001

 

RecordID: 1182

Date: 3/1999

Location: Atlanta, Fulton, GA

Summary: Kimani Atu Archie pleaded guilty in order to avoid the death penalty for murdering an Atlanta police officer in March 1999. Archie will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole. Archie, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, admitted shooting Officer Stalnaker during a struggle. Four police officers were trying to subdue Archie after he became agitated and abusive during a traffic stop. He pulled a 9 mm pistol from his waistband and fired three times, killing Stalnaker. The state and defense doctors who saw Archie all agreed that he suffered from mental illness. He was so paranoid and delusional he believed government agencies were monitoring and destabilizing his mind as part of a program called "Experiment X."

Source Of Information: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, May 3, 2001

 

RecordID: 1014

Date: 5/1999

Location: Westminster, Worcester, MA

Summary: On May 10, 2009, after being stopped for questioning along a deserted road, Jason Rivers, a man with paranoid schizophrenia, shot Westminster, MA, Police Officer Lawrence Jupin three times with a .357 Magnum handgun. The policeman fell into a coma and died on November 29, 2002. Rivers got the firearm from a makeshift cabinet where his father, Willis, stored more than 30 handguns and rifles in a house the father lived in for 15 years with its owner, Sharon Kask. While the storage unit was locked, Rivers was able to unscrew the cabinet door and take the weapon. Rivers was also shot but recovered. Subsequent History: Rivers was originally charged with assault with intent to murder, but was initially found unfit to stand trial and was committed to Bridgewater State Hospital. Shortly after Jupin's death in 2002, Rivers was found competent to stand trial and was charged with Jupin's murder. Jupin's mother, Joanne, filed a civil suit on May 3, 2002, seeking damages from Kask. The document noted that the homeowner was aware Jason Rivers had a history of violent criminal activity and accused her of not doing enough to keep her live-in boyfriend's weapons secure. Subsequent History: The highest appellate court in Massachusetts ruled that Homeowners must safely store firearms in their residence or they may be held liable for shootings with their stolen guns. The decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in the case of Jupin v. Kask is the first of its kind in the state and "sends a clear message that guns must be stored locked and unloaded," Daniel Vice, staff attorney for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said Friday. Subsequent History: On September 1, 2009, Jason Rivers, 37, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the fatal shooting of Westminster Police Officer Lawrence M. Jupin. Judge Peter W. Agnes Jr. found Mr. Rivers not guilty by reason of insanity after determining that he was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the shooting and lacked criminal responsibility for his actions. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Mr. Rivers was committed to Bridgewater State Hospital for 40 days of psychiatric observation.

Source Of Information: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 7/7/00, 12/10/09; Fitchburg Sentinel (MA), 11/15/03

 

RecordID: 1070

Date: 1/1975

Location: Summit, Waukesha, WI

Summary: On January 26, 1975, 16-year-old Alan Randall shot and killed two police officers, 28-year-old Robert "Rocky" Atkins and 52-year-old Wayne Olson, while they were sitting in their squad car outside the Summit Town Hall. In 1977, a jury found Randall, who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, guilty of the two murders, burglary and auto theft, but a judge later found him not guilty by reason of mental illness. Randall was acquitted in the January 11, 1975, murder of 43-year-old Ronald Hoeft of Summit, from whom Randall stole a car. Subsequent History: On June 21, 2011, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld the a lower court’s denial of Alan Adin Randall’s 2008 request for conditional release from a mental institution. Randall filed three requests for conditional release in the 1990s. All were denied on the basis that he was still considered a danger to himself or others.

Source Of Information: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/28/00, 3/9/09; Post Crescent, 6/21/11

 

RecordID: 1364

Date: 10/1988

Location: , , MI

Summary: Charles Knowles, 50, used a high-powered rifle to shoot and kill two law enforcement officers and then was killed by officer gunfire after an hours-long standoff with police. Early that morning, Knowles began harrassing other tenants in his apartment building. He proceeded to splash gasoline around the building and then barricaded himself inside his apartment. Police were then called to Knowles’ building and found him babbling incoherently upon their arrival. Knowles fired a shot through the door and killed 41-year-old Lt. James Schmit, a 20-year police veteran. Later that afternoon, police, who were backed up by an armored personnel carrier, forcibly entered Knowles’ apartment with tear gas. Knowles then shot 39-year-old officer Frank Walls, a highly decorated 13-year veteran, who later died in the hospital. Other officers returned fire and killed Knowles. Knowles had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and had been previously hospitalized for mental illness at least six times. A psychiatrist who examined Knowles several months earlier described him as delusional.

Source Of Information: United Press International, October 18, 1988

 

RecordID: 1400

Date: 9/2001

Location: Norfolk, Norfolk, VA

Summary: Jeremy Todd Seifert, 21, an electronics technician 3rd class in the Navy, died September 27 after shooting Norfolk police Officer James B. Gilbert. Police were notified that Seifert planned to commit suicide and went to Seifert's unit, where they found him in his bedroom motionless clutching a .45-caliber handgun. He suddenly began shooting at them, police said. Officer Gilbert was shot in the head and died from his injuries later that day. Gilbert's partner returned fire, killing Seifert, police said. Seifert was hospitalized twice for depression, and was supposed to take medication for his condition. His wife of several months had recently left him.

Source Of Information: The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia), October 1, 2001

 

RecordID: 1405

Date: 7/2001

Location: Stirling City, Butte, CA

Summary: Two sheriff's deputies who went to a remote mountain cabin to question Richard Gerald Bracklow, 46, about threats and stolen guns were found shot to death in the cabin, along with Bracklow. When the deputies did not respond to radio calls, CHP officers and additional deputies arrived 45 minutes after the two deputies were first dispatched to Bracklow's cabin. A SWAT team that entered the cabin after firing tear gas in it found all three men dead. Bracklow, a self-styled survivalist who had lived by himself in the cabin for about three years and who was often seen armed, according to neighbors, either turned a gun on himself or died from wounds obtained during the shootout with the deputies. His father said Bracklow had been diagnosed two years ago with manic-depression but hadn't taken medication for a year.

Source Of Information: The Houston Chronicle, July 28, 2001 Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2001 The San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 2001

 

RecordID: 1451

Date: 11/1993

Location: McKeesport, Allegheny, PA

Summary: Andre Harper, 48, was sentenced on May 17, 2002, to life in prison, the second time in six years that he received the same sentence for the 1993 shooting death of McKeesport police Officer Frank Miller. Harper, 48, initially was convicted in 1996 for Miller's November 10, 1993 death. State Superior Court ruled in 1999 that Harper was entitled to a new trial because the defense attorney at his 1996 trial failed to raise mental illness as an issue. Harper has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but his late attorney, Foster Stewart, failed to mention Harper's mental state and relied instead on a self-defense claim.

Source Of Information: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 18, 2002

 

RecordID: 1452

Date: 5/2002

Location: Fresno, Fresno, CA

Summary: On May 19, 2002, Mark Charles Volpa Jr., 21, shot twice at a parking-lot sweeper in the loading area, police said. Shortly after, Fresno County sheriff's deputy Dennis Phelps, 47, pulled Volpa over for a routine traffic stop and was shot in the face and killed. Also injured was deputy Jason Hollins who suffered cuts when Volpa shot at the driver's-side window of Hollins' Ford Expedition during a chase. After a six-day manhunt, police surrounded Volpa in a camper shell. When he jumped out with an AR-15 assault rifle assuming a combat position, police shot and killed him. Volpa's relatives said he suffers from manic depression and had stopped taking medication. About two weeks prior to his death, Volpa was admitted to the county's psychiatric assessment center and transferred to Four West, an adult psychiatric ward at Community Medical Center-Fresno, said his cousin, Gina Tavares. Tavares said Volpa was held for 72 hours and was released even though his mother wanted him to stay longer. "They said he was no longer a danger to himself," Tavares said. His family said he's been off work and receiving disability checks because of his mental illness.

Source Of Information: The Fresno Bee, May 21, 2002

 

RecordID: 1535

Date: 4/1992

Location: , DuPage, IL

Summary: Ronald Alvine, 39, was convicted twice in DuPage County for killing Officer Michael Browning, 23, in 1992, after Browning interrupted a burglary at a car dealership. Alvine struck and killed Browning with a stolen Corvette during the botched burglary. A judge twice sentenced Alvine to death, but the state supreme court reversed the sentence both times after citing legal errors. Three out of four mental health experts, including one prosecutors hired, agreed Alvine suffers from bipolar disorder and myriad delusions. For example, he refused to cooperate with his attorneys, who he argues are part of a conspiracy to frame him for a murder that never happened. Alvine has said Browning is alive and living under an assumed name in the witness protection program. Subsequent History: On August 24, 2006, DuPage County Judge Robert Anderson cited sentenced Ronald Alvine to natural life in prison for running down West Chicago patrolman Michael Browning with a stolen car in 1992. In court, Alvine rambled erratically on a variety of topics, including offering legal critiques on the job done by his court-appointed attorneys and denying he is mentally ill. "There's nothing crazy about me. I've read law books," Alvine said at one point. Subsequent History: Alvine was twice sentenced to death, but both sentences were overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court. Gov. George Ryan's decision in 2003 to commute the sentences of all Death Row inmates effectively barred Alvine from being sentenced to death a third time. Browning died April 20, 1992, while answering a call about a burglary at a West Chicago car dealership. Speeding away from the dealership in a stolen Corvette, Alvine hit and killed Browning, who had joined the department only five months earlier. Defense attorneys have long argued that Alvine is mentally ill. At times, Alvine has claimed that Browning is still alive and that he is being framed. In 2002, he was ruled mentally unfit to be sentenced and spent more than three years in a mental hospital, being treated for bipolar disorder.

Source Of Information: Chicago Daily Herald, August 22, 2002

 

RecordID: 3503

Date: 3/2005

Location: Boston, Suffolk, MA

Summary: Francis "Kicker" Lang, 31, fatally stabbed deputy sheriff Richard Dever, 35, outside a Boston pub as he was being ejected for causing trouble on March 19, 2005. Prior History: Lang had been released from federal prison only 22 days before he killed Dever. Court papers said Lang suffers from bipolar disorder. In 2002, Lang asked a federal judge to sentence him to a prison hospital, saying his April 29, 2001 gun possession arrest stemmed from having no medication. Boston police said Lang was cruising around Charlestown with two men in a black Saab, randomly firing a silver pistol. He was charged with being a federal felon in possession of ammunition and sentenced to 46 months under a plea agreement inked by federal prosecutors. The judge recommended he serve time in a federal medical prison. But prison officials deemed him too dangerous and sent him to a high-security prison.

Source Of Information: Boston Herald, March 22, 2005

 

RecordID: 3555

Date: 3/2005

Location: Louisville, Jefferson, KY

Summary: Travis Ballard, a 17-year-old with a lengthy criminal and psychiatric history, shot and killed Metro Police Officer Peter Grignon, then shot and killed himself in Louisville, KY. Eight days earlier, two teenage girls had reported that Ballard fired a gun at their car. Prosecutors in Kentucky and Indiana declined a juvenile worker's request that they take Ballard into custody, saying they preferred to wait until he was charged in the shooting case. Eight days later, on March 23, Ballard shot Grignon, then killed himself. As a young teen, Ballard was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and other emotional problems, according to medical records. Juvenile court records showed that, despite a history of violating probation, bond and home incarceration, Ballard was repeatedly allowed to remain free. Prior History: Between ages 12 and 17, Ballard was charged with 31 offenses in Jefferson County and five in Indiana. In January 2003, he was arrested on charges that he and another youth robbed and shot a teenager in Jefferson County. Although he was indicted as an adult, Ballard was released by Jefferson Circuit Judge Tom Wine, who said he didn't have any information about Ballard's extensive juvenile history. In subsequent months, Ballard was charged with 16 juvenile offenses in Kentucky and two in Indiana.

Source Of Information: Lexington Herald-Leader, April 11, 2005

 

RecordID: 3586

Date: 4/2005

Location: Providence, Providence, RI

Summary: Esteban Carpio, 26, was charged with murder for fatally shooting Providence Police Detective Sgt. James L. Allen with the officer's own gun in a police department conference room on April 17, 2005. Authorities said Allen, 50, was questioning Carpio about his possible involvement in the stabbing of an 84-year-old woman, who was expected to recover. Carpio was not under arrest at the time and had been taken out of handcuffs. After the shooting, Carpio broke a window in an adjacent office and jumped out. He was captured a few blocks away, authorities said. The murder charge carries a potential maximum sentence of life in prison without parole because it involves the killing of an on-duty police officer. Prior History: Carpio's family said he had been acting strangely for several weeks before the shooting, and that they had taken him to the hospital emergency room twice but he refused treatment and was not admitted. Carpio's girlfriend, Samein Phin, also called the community mental health center to get him help, but he killed the detective before the scheduled appointment date. Phin said that the day before the shooting, Carpio hadn't slept in three or four days, had turned on every light in the house, and was convinced someone was trying to break in. Earlier in the month, Carpio's mother called police and had her son taken by ambulance to a hospital. He was released that night. "We were trying to get him help, and it didn't seem to be there," said his brother, David Carpio.

Source Of Information: CNN, April 19, 2005; Providence Journal, April 29, 2005

 

RecordID: 3597

Date: 8/1998

Location: Bradshaw, McDowell, WV

Summary: In August 1998, Charlie Vance of Bradshaw Mountain, WV, killed Frankie Stanton, Bradshaw’s police chief. According to court records, Vance rode his horse into town, drunk and high on barbiturates. Stanton brought him to town hall and was about to release him to his niece when he pulled a derringer from his pack and shot Stanton in the head. Later, Vance was treated in prison for severe depression.

Source Of Information: Charleston Gazette (WV), January 17, 2005

 

RecordID: 4259

Date: 1/2005

Location: Alexandria, Alexandria, VA

Summary: Ossie LaRode stuck and killed James Feltis on January 11, 2005, while being chased by police in a stolen car. LaRode struck a 65-year-old man and stole his car. After the carjacking, LaRode led Alexandria Police officers on a chase toward the Pentagon. Feltis, a 10-year-veteran of the Pentagon Police Department, was working a security detail when LaRode steered the stolen car directly at the officer. Feltis was thrown 78 feet from the point of impact. After being struck, James Feltis clung to life for five weeks. Prior History: LaRode came to America from Trinidad in 1999, living in New York with his girlfriend and their children. He became estranged from his family as his paranoid schizophrenia became more pronounced. The troubles began when he would retreat to the basement to read the dictionary. Eventually, the voices in his head led him to drift from town to town. LaRode, 23, pleaded guilty in June to murdering Officer James Feltis, 41, and was scheduled for sentencing on September 19, 2006. Defense attorneys for LaRode called two forensic experts into the courtroom to testify that he believes he is a prophet sent from above who can influence the weather with his mind. Nevertheless, Judge Leonie Brinkema denied their request to send LaRode to a prison hospital. Citing the need for “justice and retribution,” Brinkema sentenced LaRode to almost 32 years in federal prison. Prior History:

Source Of Information: Connection Newspapers, September 22, 2006

 

RecordID: 4296

Date: 10/2006

Location: Hoxie, Sheridan, KS

Summary: Sheridan County Sheriff James L. Johnson was shot and killed in his office on October 27, 2006 by Steven Paul Reitcheck, a 36-year-old man he was interviewing, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said. Reitcheck was then fatally shot by a deputy. Johnson was talking to Reitcheck about a possible commitment to a mental health facility when Reitcheck pulled a handgun and fired, KBI deputy director Kyle Smith said.

Source Of Information: AP, October 27, 2006; Wichita Eagle, October 26, 2006

 

RecordID: 1582

Date: 1/1990

Location: St. Stephen, Berkeley, SC

Summary: Carlos V. Morant was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the stabbing death of St. Stephen police officer Joshua C. Milligan. The officer had responded to a domestic call at Morant's home in St. Stephen on January 6, 1990. After stabbing Milligan with a steak knife, Morant drove away in the officer's patrol car. Morant was later arrested in Andrews. South Carolina Department of Mental Health officials told Judge Markley Dennis that Morant no longer requires in-patient care because medications have controlled his paranoid schizophrenia. Because of his improved condition, Morant will be transferred to a supervised mental health facility in Summerville, where he will receive his medications and counseling for drug and alcohol abuse.

Source Of Information: The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), September 18, 2002

 

RecordID: 1769

Date: 8/2002

Location: Adelphi, Prince George's, MD

Summary: On August 29, 2002, James Logan, then 23, shot and killed two sheriff's deputies, Elizabeth Magruder, 30, and Cpl. James V. Arnaud, 53 in Adelphi, MD when they came to his home and attempted to take him for an emergency psychiatric evaluation. Logan's mother had tried to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital that month because she thought he was exhibiting signs of paranoid schizophrenia. But because he had not done anything dangerous, he was never hospitalized. The day before the shootings, Logan's mother had called the police to report Logan's aggressive behavior, but the responding officers didn't witness any dangerous behavior and left. As a result of this incident, a new Maryland state law was designed to make it easier for families and friends to get help for people suffering from severe mental illness, mental health advocates said. Subsequent History: On November 10, 2003, Logan was found guilty of second-degree murder and of using a handgun in commission of a felony, sparing him the death penalty. Instead, Logan faced up to 100 years in prison. At trial, Logan pleaded not guilty. His attorneys mounted an insanity defense. But prosecutors claimed Logan's mental health problems were due to his use of marijuana and cocaine. On September 7, 2005, the Court of Special Appeals ordered a new trial, ruling that the judge who presided over Logan's first trial did not adequately question potential jurors to determine their suitability. Defense attorney Fred Bennett, who defended Logan and sought his initial appeal, said that prosecutors' failure to have the county's psychiatrist correctly diagnose Logan's paranoid schizophrenia in his murder trial was critical in the case. Bennett said Logan will plead insanity in a new trial. Subsequent History: In September 2006, James Logan who was convicted of killing two Prince George’s County sheriff’s deputies was granted a new trial. In 2003, a jury found James Logan guilty of second-degree murder in the deaths of Elizabeth Magruder and James Arnaud. During his trial, his attorney said he shouldn’t be held criminally responsible because he was schizophrenic. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled last year that Logan should have a new trial. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed in part, based on what the State’s Attorney describes as a technicality involving the interrogation of the defendant. Subsequent History: On June 15, 2007, James Ramiah Logan’s retrial ended with a hung jury, after the group deliberated for two days. Logan, 28, was on trial for the second time in nearly four years, for killing deputies James Arnaud and Elizabeth Magruder on August 29, 2002. He was originally convicted on two counts of second-degree murder in 2003, and sentenced to 100 years imprisonment, but the Maryland Court of Appeals ordered a retrial, ruling that the court erred in jury selection. ‘‘There will be a retrial,” said Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for county State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, after the jury returned afternoon without a verdict. He said a retrial could be scheduled in three to four months. During closing arguments June 14, defense attorneys did not dispute that Logan committed the crimes. They asked the jury to find that Logan was not criminally responsible for his actions, claiming that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Source Of Information: The Baltimore Sun, 2/26/03; The Washington Post July 29, 2003; Montgomery County Gazette, 10/8/03, 6/18/07; Wash. Post, 10/28/03;The Baltimore Sun, 11/10/03; Wash. Post, 11/11/03; WJZ-TV, 9/8/05; DC Examiner, 9/7/05; WUSA Channel 9, 9/8/06

 

RecordID: 1795

Date: 12/1984

Location: Seattle, King, WA

Summary: A mentally ill man who killed a Seattle police officer in 1984 will not be released from prison as planned, but will for now remain confined at a state mental hospital. Michael Trott, now 51, killed Officer Nick Davis on December 18, 1984, after the officer confronted him for skipping out on a $4.55 restaurant bill. The two struggled, and Trott managed to get Davis' gun and fire it. A jury found Trott guilty of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison. With time off for good behavior, he was set to be released March 3, 2003. However, the state Department of Corrections had been trying to find a way to ensure that Trott continues to get mental health treatment and medications. He was diagnosed years ago with paranoid schizophrenia and was deemed a "dangerously mentally ill offender". A Corrections Department spokeswoman would say only that Trott was sent to a state mental hospital and would not be returning to prison. Under state law, those who are deemed a danger to themselves or others, or are gravely disabled, can be confined and treated even after they've finished serving their sentences.

Source Of Information: Seattle Post Intelligencer, March 7, 2003

 

RecordID: 1966

Date: 5/2003

Location: La Quinta, Riverside, CA

Summary: Kevin W. Diabo, who is accused of killing Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Bruce Lee, was fatally shot by Deputy Robert Burbach on May 13, 2003. Three phone calls to 911 were made that morning from the La Quinta home where Diabo’s parents lived. His mother made two of the calls. She asked police to come and remove her son who suffered from schizophrenia. Diabo made one of the calls, telling the dispatcher that police assistance was unnecessary. According to sheriff’s department reports, Lee and Diabo got into a physical confrontation as the deputy was attempting to arrest Diabo. Lee was knocked down, and then was struck repeatedly in the head with his own baton. Burbach arrived a few minutes later, saw Lee on the floor through the open front door and yelled to him but got no response. Diabo then came out the front door, swinging the baton in a threatening manner at the backup deputy. After ordering Diabo to put down the baton, Burbach drew his weapon and fired two rounds, striking Diabo in the chest. Diabo had a history of bizarre behavior and criminal charges, including battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and misdemeanor hit-and-run. He was on probation at the time of his death.

Source Of Information: The Desert Sun, June 4, 2003 The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), May 14, 2003

 

RecordID: 1975

Date: 6/2000

Location: Flagstaff, Coconino, AZ

Summary: Eric Clark was convicted of first-degree murder for the June 21, 2000, shooting death of Flagstaff police officer Jeff Moritz, who was shot while making a traffic stop. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility for parole in 25 years. Superior Court Judge H. Jeffrey Coker rejected Clark's insanity plea, stating that the illness wasn't so severe that Clark didn't know the difference between right and wrong. Clark's attorney, Bryon Middlebrook, contended that Clark, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, should have been found guilty but insane because of his diagnosis of schizophrenia. Clark waived his right to trial by jury, but the defense's experts testified Clark was incompetent because he suffered from schizophrenia. Judge Coker determined him incompetent to stand trial in March 2001 and sent him to Arizona State Hospital to restore his competency. The defense contended Clark was delusional when he shot Moritz, but the prosecution said evidence suggested Clark deliberately ambushed the police officer. Clark claims to not have killed Moritz and refused to assist in his own defense. At trial, Clark's family testified that he had been exhibiting symptoms of severe paranoia for years before the shooting, and that they had been unable to access long-term treatment for him, despite many attempts. Subsequent History: Clark was sent to prison on October 3, 2003, for a minimum of 25 years. Once in prison, Clark refused his psychiatric medications. Prison staff had to wait until he decompensated before a hearing in front of the Psychotropic Medication Review Board was conducted in October 2004 to legally force Clark to take his medication. Clark's mental state improved on the medication. The board can review his status every six months to determine if forced medication continues to be necessary. In February 2005, the Court of Appeals upheld Clark's conviction. His attorney then requested the Arizona Supreme Court hear the case in an attempt to get Clark out of prison and into the state mental hospital. Subsequent History: In June 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arizona's law on the insanity defense is not too restrictive in limiting evidence defendants can present at trial. By a 6-3 vote, justices affirmed the murder conviction of Eric Clark, who thought he was being pursued by space aliens when he killed an Arizona police officer. Clark, a paranoid schizophrenic who was a teenager at the time, is serving 25 years to life in prison. Under Arizona's law, defendants "may be found guilty except insane" if they prove they were so mentally ill that they did not know what they did was wrong. Many other states also allow insanity findings for defendants who can show they did not understand the nature of their criminal acts. Critics had said that Arizona's standard for proving insanity is almost impossible to meet, violating the constitutional rights of mentally ill defendants. Writing for the majority, Justice David Souter disagreed. "Arizona's rule serves to preserve the state's chosen standard for recognizing insanity as a defense and to avoid confusion and misunderstanding on the part of jurors," he wrote. Souter said the state can limit psychiatric testimony to avoid such confusion, given the often dueling opinions of experts and inability of anyone to truly know what is in someone else's mind. But Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said in a dissent that restricting expert testimony deprived jurors of evidence they needed to "make sense" of Clark's claims of mental illness. "In sum, the rule forces the jury to decide guilt in a fictional world with undefined and unexplained behaviors," Kennedy wrote on behalf of himself and justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It was the first time the court has dealt with a direct constitutional challenge to insanity defense laws since lawmakers nationwide imposed new restrictions following John Hinckley's acquittal by reason of insanity in the March 1981 shooting of President Reagan. Clark had a trial before a judge in which he was found guilty of first-degree murder. Part of Clark's appeal turned on whether the judge should have considered mental illness in weighing whether Clark intentionally killed the officer. Before Clark started acting bizarrely the year before the killing, he was a standout football player and popular student. He began obsessing about the millennium, and ran up his parents' credit cards buying survival supplies. He became convinced that aliens had taken over his town and that his own parents were aliens. Subsequent History: On March 15, 2007, Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton rejected Eric Clark’s argument that the lawyer who represented him at his 2003 trial provided an insufficient legal defense.

Source Of Information: Arizona Daily Sun - 6/16/03, 8/6/03, 8/9/03, 8/21/03, 8/23/03, 10/2/03, 10/3/03, 2/27/05; The Arizona Republic - 9/4/03, 10/3/03, 6/30/06; Arizona Daily Herald - 2/27/05; Washington Post, 6/30/06; Reuters, 6/30/06; New York Times, 6/30/06; UPI, 6/30/06

 

RecordID: 1992

Date: 6/2003

Location: Encanto, San Diego, CA

Summary: Kevin Gerard Williams, then 37, was charged with murder after running over and killing San Diego motorcycle officer Terry Bennett on June 26, 2003 in Encanto, CA. Williams, who was homeless, was driving a stolen truck at the time and was attempting to avoid arrest. Williams initially pleaded not guilty to all charges and was held without bail. On October 1, 2003, he was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and sent to a state mental hospital. Three psychiatrists who examined Williams each concluded he was so mentally ill he couldn't fully comprehend the charges against him, assist in his defense and understand the nature of the court proceedings. The incompetency ruling halted all criminal proceedings against Williams for up to three years. If doctors at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino determine his competency has been restored, Williams will return to court and the criminal case against him will resume, attorneys said. He could face the death penalty if convicted. If, after three years, doctors find he is not competent, Williams could be placed under a conservatorship and sent to a state hospital under a civil committment. Williams also has a history of substance abuse, and told police that he had smoked marijuana laced with methamphetamine the day of the incident. Subsequent History: On March 14, 2005, Williams was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on February 7, 2005 to avoid a possible death penalty sentence. Williams had previously entered a plea of innocent by reason of insanity. Williams mental capacity is estimated to be that of a 12-year-old. Prior History: Court records show that Williams had six previous felony convictions and nine misdemeanor convictions, and he has served three prison terms. He has been institutionalized at least twice, the first time at age 13, when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, psychosis and mild mental retardation. In March 2003, Williams was taken to the emergency unit when he went to the North Gate at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station and told guards he was hearing voices, had aliens inside him and could "smell evil and electricity." He was released after less than a day. On June 21, five days before he ran down Bennett, Williams was arrested at Lindbergh Field after trying to walk past the ticket counter security area and board a flight without a ticket. When arrested, he told police he was God and said, "Let me on the street and I'm going to kill people". He was taken to the county emergency psychiatric unit and held overnight, but released the next morning. Court records show he is also a longtime drug and alcohol abuser.

Source Of Information: Copley News Service, 6/28/03; San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/12/03 & 10/1/03; City News Service, 9/11/03 & 10/1/03; City News Service, 6/30,10/25,10/28/04; San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/8, 9/27/04; San Diego Union Tribune, 2/9/05; KTLA-TV, 3/15/05

 

RecordID: 2015

Date: 7/2003

Location: , Wilson, TN

Summary: Fallon Tallent, 21, faces a possible death sentence if found guilty of killing two Wilson County, Tennessee, police officers. Tallent’s grandmother, Cleva Carroll, said that several years ago Tallent was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Carroll said her granddaughter’s mental illness has been exacerbated by drug use. Tallent was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Mt. Juliet Police Sgt. Jerry Mundy and Wilson County Deputy Sheriff John Musice. The two were killed July 9, 2003, while trying to stop a reportedly stolen Mercedes-Benz that had led police on a chase at speeds of more than 100 mph. Police say Tallent was driving the Mercedes when it slammed into the police car. Carroll said she had prayed that Tallent would someday receive a significant jail sentence so that she could get psychological help.

Source Of Information: The Tennessean, July 15, 2003

 

RecordID: 2032

Date: 3/2002

Location: Toulon, Stark, IL

Summary: Curtis Thompson, 61, shot and killed a sheriff's deputy on March 22, 2002, when Stark County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Streicher attempted to arrest him on an old warrant at his home in Toulon, IL. After shooting the officer, Thompson then went to the nearby home of James and Janet Giesenhagen and shot and killed them as well. Moments later and two blocks away, Thompson himself was shot in a gun fight with deputies who had responded to emergency calls. Thompson, who was on probation for an assault conviction involving a friend of James Geisenhagens, was charged with multiple counts of murder and other charges stemming from the three shotgun slayings. At trial, Dr. John Day testified that Thompson suffered for much of his life from a delusionary disorder and paranoid suspicions that the whole town of Toulon has been out to get him. "He sees the entire community as being adversarial," Day said. "There are key people in that system. The Giesenhagens were among those key people." "My father would always say that Curt would kill someone someday," one resident said. "Any policeman who knew him knew he had the capability of doing this," said another man familiar with Thompson. "One of his favorite pastimes was going around, intimidating people." Said a third: "This whole town knew he was crazy enough to do this." He was sentenced to death.

Source Of Information: Copley News Service, July 25, 2003 Copley News Service July 29, 2003

 

RecordID: 2109

Date: 10/2002

Location: Ferris, Ellis, TX

Summary: On October 6, 2002, Kent William Sprouse, then 30, shot and killed police officer Harry Marvin Steinfeldt III and an innocent bystander in Ferris, Texas, and was indicted on two charges of capital murder. A forensic psychiatrist for the defense testified that, during the shooting, Sprouse was "psychotic" and "out of contact with reality…He believes he is God and that there are conspiracies to kill him." Although no definitive diagnosis was made, the doctor believes Sprouse is most likely schizophrenic, or has organic brain damage due to several years of drug use. A psychiatrist for the state disputes this diagnosis, and instead gave Sprouse a diagnosis of substance-induced psychotic disorder in remission. A family friend testified at trial that she found Sprouse agitated and paranoid while visiting the Sprouses in April 2002. “I said, ‘He needs help. He’s mentally ill,’ ” Stella Gayler said, noting Sprouse was hospitalized for the second time after she returned home. “They were going to court after I left to get him committed.” Sprouse’s mother, Cojean Sprouse, also testified. She said she tried to get her son help but was told by counselors that he “had to hit bottom". If convicted, Sprouse could face the death penalty or a capital life sentence of which he would have to serve at least 40 years before becoming eligible for parole. Sprouse remains in custody on $5 million bond on each of the two capital murder charges.

Source Of Information: Waxahachie Daily Light, September 10, 2003 Waxahachie Daily Light, February 22, 2004

 

RecordID: 2179

Date: /1981

Location: Nashville, Davidson, TN

Summary: Richard Taylor, a man with mental illness, killed 21-year-old prison guard Ronald Moore in 1981 by repeatedly stabbing him with a homemade knife while serving time at Turney Center prison in Tennessee on robbery and joyriding charges. In October 2003, he was convicted and sentenced to die for the second time, after his initial conviction and death sentence was overturned and a second trial was ordered. Although Taylor, now 43, was a patient at Deberry Special Needs psychiatric facility prior to the murder and a diagnosed schizophrenic, he was not allowed to enter an insanity defense in his first trial, despite the fact that he was unmedicated at the time of the murder. He was ruled competent and convicted of capital murder in 1984. In 1997, however, a judge threw out the original conviction and ruled Taylor was entitled to a new trial, though ineligible based on his incompetency. Taylor was then committed to the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute (MTMHI). In July, 2003, Williamson County Judge Russ Heldman ruled Taylor competent and ordered the retrial. Heldman also granted Taylor's request to represent himself at trial. In a report issued in early 2003, a psychiatrist affirmed Taylor’s previous diagnoses of schizophrenia, saying Taylor suffered from delusions and other traits associated with borderline personality disorder. But recent rulings by mental health officials at MTMHI claimed that Taylor’s treatment with anti-psychotic medication has been successful. Taylor had also asked that his execution be carried out. A conservator who was appointed for Taylor made a request during the second trial that Taylor’s medications be stopped, but the court superseded this action. Taylor's attorneys maintain that they do not believe he understands his conviction and sentencing.

Source Of Information: Nashville City Paper, October 13, 2003 Nashville City Paper, October 15, 2003 Nashville City Paper, October 16, 2003 The Tennessean, October 17, 2003

 

RecordID: 2210

Date: 5/2002

Location: Chattanooga, Hamilton, TN

Summary: Isaac Eugene Jones III was charged with capital murder and denied bond for the May 6, 2002 shooting death of Chattanooga, TN, police officer Julie Jacks. Jones, a former college student, had just fled a hospital where he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation after causing a disturbance at a campus library when he encountered Jacks. Defense lawyers argued that Jones was unarmed and suffering from a psychological breakdown before the confrontation with Jacks, and that he should be charged with second-degree murder. Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty. Defense lawyers called medical social worker, who testified that Jones had symptoms of schizophrenia for much of his life, and that he was showing increasing symptoms during the 24 hours leading up to the incident. Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Doug Meyer said Jones was found competent to stand trial despite his apparent mental illness. Subsequent History: A Nashville jury brought in to Chattanooga to hear Jones' case convicted Jones of second-degree murder on June 17, 2005. He was on August 15, 2005 to 25 years in prison with no parole. Prosecutors argued he was faking mental illness and had said they would seek a death sentence if Jones were convicted of first-degree murder. Dr. Pamela Auble, a psychologist testifying on Jones' behalf, said she diagnosed Jones with schizophrenia based on medical and police records, along with her own observations and Jones' family history. Barbara Hobson, a case manager who examined Jones in the Hamilton County Jail, said Jones frequently stripped off his clothes, bathed his head in the cell's toilet and smeared feces on his body and head hair. She said Jones told her he wasn't wearing clothes because "it made him invisible." Prior History: Jones had a juvenile criminal record that included charges of auto theft when he was 14 years old and a later weapons violation.

Source Of Information: Chattanooga Times Free Press, October 28, 2003; April 6 & 12, 2004; Chattanooga Chattanoogan, June 11, 2005; WTVC-TV, June 11, 2005; Douglas County Bank News, June 21, 2005; Chattanooga Times Free Press, August 16, 2005

 

RecordID: 2301

Date: 1/2004

Location: Athens, Limestone, AL

Summary: On January 2, 2004, Farron Clark Barksdale, 29, killed Athens, AL police Sgt. Larry Wayne Russell, 42, and Officer Tony Mims, 40. Barksdale shot the officers when they arrived in the driveway of his mother's house. Later, Officer Doug Duren handcuffed Barksdale and read him his rights. During Barksdale’s trial, Duren testified that Barksdale was calm and told him, "I shot them myself" and that he "threw the gun down by the cop." Barksdale had called police twice that day and asked dispatchers to send FBI agents or police officers to his mother's house. Barksdale has paranoid schizophrenia and had been involuntarily committed to mental hospitals in the past. He was off his medication at the time of the incident. Subsequent History: In August 2007, Barksdale pleaded guilty to five counts of capital murder and two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle for the deaths of officer Tony Mims and Sgt. Larry Russell. The defense said Barksdale has paranoid schizophrenia and also abused drugs. A jury validated his guilty plea on August 6, 2007. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Subsequent History: On August 20, 2007, Farron Barksdale died mysteriously after being incarcerated at Kilby Correctional Facility. Barksdale died 12 days after being transferred from the Limestone County Jail to Kilby, in Mount Meigs near Montgomery. An autopsy found that the 32-year-old died of "complications of bronchopneumonia, with contributory factors of hyperthermia and coagulopathy." Coagulopathy is a blood-clotting disorder, hyperthermia is an abnormally elevated body temperature, and bronchopneumonia is a type of pneumonia. At the time of his death, authorities denied allegations that Barksdale, who was imprisoned for the ambush killing of two police officers, had been beaten. Subsequent History: On June 6, 2008, Mary Barksdale, Farron Barksdale’s mother, sued Alabama prison officials, claiming her son died because he was left in a hot cell after being prescribed drugs that made him susceptible to heat. In a civil rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Mary Barksdale claims prison psychiatrist Dr. Joseph McGinn prescribed drugs for her son's psychological condition including Navane, Cogentin and Triavil, all of which "create heat-intolerance in the human body." Farron Barksdale had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, but had been treated without drugs at Limestone. On the day of Barksdale's death, the suit claims, the temperature in Montgomery reached 106 degrees. The prison is not air conditioned. Prior History: Court records reveal Barksdale was a tormented man convinced that police, the government, gangsters and others were directing microwaves at his brain; a man who tore cable out of his mother's home because of his belief "they" were using the wires and television to tap into his brain. At the request of Barksdale's mother, Probate Judge Mike Davis had committed Barksdale to mental institutions five times. The first commitment was in September 2001. The latest was in June 2003. Each time, Barksdale's medical diagnosis was paranoid schizophrenia. Municipal court records also document several times that police went to Barksdale's home. He told his mother "that he has wanted off this planet since the age of 13 years and that he did not want to have to kill another person to accomplish this task." A family member said, "he's heard voices since he was 10 and we always referred to it as devils."' Barksdale was able to pass a background check and purchase a rifle and ammunition because his commitments didn't show up in the federal database and because he did not admit his mental disability on a form provided by the gun dealer. Subsequent History: In December 2008, the Alabama Department of Corrections reopened its investigation into the death of inmate Farron Barksdale after a fellow inmate claimed he saw correctional officers beating him. Prison system spokesman Brian Corbett said that department investigators were looking into the claims and that Commissioner Richard Allen asked the Alabama Bureau of Investigations to reopen their case as well. J.D. Bennett, who is currently serving a life sentence at Holman prison, wrote an October 24 letter to Montgomery County Circuit Judge Eugene Reese, saying he was at Kilby and saw four correctional officers beat Barksdale severely. Bennett said the four officers first beat Barksdale in an obscure group of cells, then continued the assault as they took him down a main hall and put him in the cell where he was found. Subsequent History: In September 2009, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Mary Barksdale was settled with the state Department of Corrections for $750,000. Mary Barksdale was represented by Sarah Geraghty, an attorney for the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, and Huntsville attorney Jake Watson. The suit alleged that inmate Farron Barksdale, who suffered from schizophrenia, died because of "the deliberate indifference, medical neglect and negligence" of the prison staff. "Mr. Barksdale was medicated with an unusually large dose of psychotropic medications that made his body unable to withstand high temperatures, confined to an isolation cell with a medically dangerous degree of heat and left there without adequate monitoring," the complaint said. "He fell into a coma and died." Subsequent History: In November 2009, the Department of Corrections announced that it would make available for viewing by the media all prison records concerning the death of Farron Barksdale. The Alabama Supreme Court ruled in September 2009, following a two-year court battle, that the DOC must make public incident reports and other records relating to the death. DOC spokesman Brian Corbett said that the 795 pages in the records were mailed to Southern Center for Human Rights attorneys and Jake Watson, the attorney representing Farron Barksdale’s mother, Mary Barksdale, on November 20. Although an autopsy determined Barksdale died of hyperthermia after he was left in a single-inmate cell when temperatures reached 100-plus degrees and that drug therapy exacerbated his condition, bruising on his body was unexplained. Sarah Geraghty, an SCHR attorney, said Monday she was disappointed that in the entire 795 pages there was no explanation for the bruising on Barksdale’s body. “It is now clear that Mr. Barksdale died of hyperthermia after being highly medicated with anti-psychotic drugs during a heat wave and unmonitored in a cell that was not air-conditioned,” said Geraghty. “But that still doesn’t explain the bruising. Photographs of Mr. Barksdale show extensive bruising. EMTs found massive bruises the size of salad plates that had been newly sustained. “It makes it clear that he did not have the bruises when he entered the prison, but he had them before he died. The Department of Corrections went through the motions, but was ultimately content to draw no conclusions about how Mr. Barksdale sustained the bruising to his body.”

Source Of Information: The Associated Press, 1/5/04, 1/12/04, 1/25/04, 6/3/04;The Decatur Daily (AL), 1/9/04, 1/12/04, 2/7/07, 8/7/07, 8/13/07, 8/14/07, 8/15/07, 8/16/07, 8/21/07, 8/22/07, 8/23/07, 8/28/07, 9/21/07; News Courier (AL), 1/12/04, 1/26/04

 

RecordID: 2328

Date: 12/2003

Location: Mishawaka, Saint Joseph, IN

Summary: Raymond Matthew Gilkeson, 30, shot and killed two Mishawaka officers as they attempted to arrest him. Police shot him four times during the confrontation, but he was killed by a shot to the head from his own gun. Gilkeson's mother said that her son had been diagnosed as bipolar, but he refused to take his medication and he drank alcohol. Cpl. Thomas Roberts and Patrolman Bryan S. Verkler were the first Mishawaka police officers to die in the line of duty in more than 70 years. Prior history: Gilkeson's criminal history goes back nearly 10 years and includes prison time in California. His record has several violent and drug offenses and crimes against police officers. The week before the murders, he was convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge after a jury trial for assaulting a man in December 2002. He was scheduled for trial in April 2004 for assaulting two other people.

Source Of Information: South Bend Tribune, December 16, 2003

 

RecordID: 681

Date: 7/1999

Location: , Cobb, GA

Summary: Greg Smith, 40, a man suffering from mental illness, barricaded himself in his home with his mother after getting into an altercation with neighbors, then shooting and wounding a police officer who attempted to pat him down for weapons. During the standoff, two SWAT team police officers were shot and killed by Smith as they attempted to enter the home. The team then used tear gas to dislodge Smith, who was eventually shot to death by police.

Source Of Information: Atlanta Journal and Constitution, August 27, 1999, p. 4C Atlanta Journal and Constitution, August 30, 1999

 

RecordID: 814

Date: 4/1975

Location: Mount Holly, Burlington, NJ

Summary: In New Jersey, James Carhart was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the sniper killing of Mount Holly police officer Donald Aleshire and Hainesport policeman William Wurtz on Good Friday 1975 after he barricaded himself at his home. Mount Holly officer John Holmes was also seriously injured during the three-hour stand-off and died in 1992. Carhart has been held at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital ever since and has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Superior Court Judge Marvin Schlosser had previously granted Carhart's request to be taken out of Ancora every six weeks or so and escorted to visit his sick mother, infuriating members of the law enforcement community. However, in a November 2003 closed hearing, Schlosser ruled that Carhart, now 51, was still a danger to himself and society after learning that Ancora staff had discovered Carhart with a tool box containing a screwdriver in April, and with a letter opener in September. He could not explain how he obtained them or where they came from, Brennan said. Based on the assessment of Ancora psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Liberatore, Carhart was returned to the lowest privilege level, at least temporarily, although his privileges could be returned at a later time. Carhart was described as a cooperative patient who takes his medication. Subsequent History: In March 2008, a state appeals court ruled that James Carhart, 55, was still "mentally ill, a danger to himself and others and is still in need of continued hospitalization." The ruling upholds a November 30, 2006, decision by Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith Jr., who concluded that hospital rule violations by Carhart precluded him from leaving the grounds or getting more privileges while there. Carhart appealed that decision. At that hearing the patient's own doctors testified he should not be released because he had been found in possession of a razor-like instrument and gave a friend keys to part of the facility. They also testified he was still mentally impaired from schizophrenia despite medication and had thoughts that were inconsistent with reality.

Source Of Information: Cherry Hill Courier-Post, 11/8/03; Vineland Daily Journal, 3/27/08

 

RecordID: 1211

Date: 2/2001

Location: Jennings, Jefferson Davis Parish, LA

Summary: On February 5, 2000, Phil Karam, a former police officer, allegedly shot to death two of his longtime friends, and an officer responding to a 911 call from the house. Karam, a Vietnam veteran, has a history of mental problems and alcohol abuse. He has pled not guilty by reason of insanity to three charges of first-degree murder for killing Kenny Guidry, 48; Christine Guidry, 32; and Jennings police Officer Burt LeBlanc, 30. Two other responding officers also were shot but not killed in the incident. Karam surrendered after a 2-hour standoff. The jury rejected Karam's insanity defense and convicted him of killing the three people. The same jurors prescribed three consecutive life sentences the next day after reporting they could not unanimously recommend the death sentence that prosecutors wanted.

Source Of Information: The Advocate - August 1, 2001 The Advocate - August 18, 2001

 

RecordID: 1259

Date: 3/2000

Location: Memphis, Shelby, TN

Summary: On March 8, 2000, Frederick Williams shot and killed his 32-year-old wife, set their Memphis, TN house on fire, then ambushed a deputy and two firefighters as they responded to emergency 911 calls, killing all three. He was then shot four times by police officers and sheriff's deputies, but survived. He was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count each of attempted murder and aggravated arson. Williams had received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and was taking medication. Subsequent History: Williams was in criminal court in September 2005. His attorneys tried to prove that he is mentally incompetent to stand trial. In court, Williams says a spirit visited him the year of the murders, telling him that was the "grand Mufdi of Israel." Williams has been in a mental hospital since 2002. He claimed the New World Order had been spying on him, through an implanted Micro chip, the food he eats, even the paint on his cell walls. Williams also accused a sheriff's deputy of placing a tennis ball inside him. On the stand Williams seemed nervous and confused and contradictory, but was certain when he said he should not be found guilty. "Because the things that I did I was not in control of," Williams said. Prosecutors said with treatment and medication, Williams improved enough to participate in his own defense. Testimony continues tomorrow morning.

Source Of Information: The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), March 12, 2000; Memphis WMC - September 13, 2005

 

RecordID: 1490

Date: 3/2000

Location: , East Feliciana, LA

Summary: A state district judge ruled that Frank Bernath, 56, who is accused of murdering a sheriff's deputy, is not mentally competent to assist in his trial defense and will be moved from the East Feliciana Parish Jail to the Feliciana Forensic Facility, a state hospital for the criminally insane near Jackson. Police said Bernath was stalking his ex-girlfriend and her new husband when he rammed their car with his vehicle on March 16, 2000. Sgt. Nolan Williamson, along with another deputy and a Clinton police officer, were unaware the collision was more than a routine traffic accident until Bernath shot Williamson in the neck at close range. The Clinton officer returned fire, seriously wounding Bernath. Williamson later died. Two psychiatrists who examined Bernath in June and July said in a written report that Bernath suffers from clinical depression "of a severe level," has difficulty focusing on complex, content-related questions and appears to have genuine emotional grief.

Source Of Information: The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), August 25, 2000

 

RecordID: 4319

Date: 9/1995

Location: Nashville, Davidson, TN

Summary: On September 22, 1995, Davidson County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Newson Jr. was killed and Deputy Johnnie Spears was severely injured when Richard Arriola, a mentally ill man, opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol and later a shotgun on the two officers who were executing an eviction notice. Subsequent History: On November 28, 2006, Arriola was found guilty of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, as well as two counts of attempted second-degree murder for additional shots he fired at Metro police officers. The first-degree murder conviction carries with it an automatic life sentence. Tennessee does not allow for a judge or a jury to find a defendant guilty but mentally ill, so Arriola will have to serve that sentence in a state correctional facility as opposed to a mental hospital. His defense team, led by Davidson County Public Defender Ross Alderman, had asked Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins to find Arriola not guilty by reason of insanity. As a result of his mental illness, Arriola had spent the last 10 years confined to a mental hospital after his doctors and a judge agreed he was not mentally competent to stand trial for the shootings. In June 2005, a decade after he last appeared before a judge, Arriola’s psychiatrists at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute said that treatment, as well as a new type of antipsychotic medication, Seroquel, had helped Arriola regain his legal competency. The four experts in forensic psychiatry who testified about Arriola’s mental state maintained that Arriola remained a very ill man, and they doubted that when he opened fire on law enforcement officers he fully understood the wrongfulness of his actions. Since 1988, when Arriola was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he has been increasingly unable to function in the world around him, his doctors testified during the tiral. He began to suffer from “several kinds of delusions of grandeur,” said Dr. Rokeya Farooque, who worked on Arriola’s case since 1996. Those delusions led Arriola to believe that he was going to become the next pope, that certain government agents were out to get him while others, including CIA agents, would ultimately save him, and that he was in constant danger of infection by computer viruses that possessed the ability to jump from computers to humans and ultimately onto him, multiple experts said. Watkins ultimately agreed that the defense had proven that Arriola was mentally ill, but rejected their claim that Arriola understood neither the nature nor the wrongfulness of his actions and found Arriola guilty. According to Watkins, the defense failed to meet its burden of proving that Arriola’s mental state prevented him from understanding the nature of his actions.

Source Of Information: Nashville City Paper, November 29, 2006

 

RecordID: 681

Date: 7/1999

Location: , Cobb, GA

Summary: Greg Smith, 40, a man suffering from mental illness, barricaded himself in his home with his mother after getting into an altercation with neighbors, then shooting and wounding a police officer who attempted to pat him down for weapons. During the standoff, two SWAT team police officers were shot and killed by Smith as they attempted to enter the home. The team then used tear gas to dislodge Smith, who was eventually shot to death by police.

Source Of Information: Atlanta Journal and Constitution, August 27, 1999, p. 4C Atlanta Journal and Constitution, August 30, 1999

 

RecordID: 1769

Date: 8/2002

Location: Adelphi, Prince George's, MD

Summary: On August 29, 2002, James Logan, then 23, shot and killed two sheriff's deputies, Elizabeth Magruder, 30, and Cpl. James V. Arnaud, 53 in Adelphi, MD when they came to his home and attempted to take him for an emergency psychiatric evaluation. Logan's mother had tried to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital that month because she thought he was exhibiting signs of paranoid schizophrenia. But because he had not done anything dangerous, he was never hospitalized. The day before the shootings, Logan's mother had called the police to report Logan's aggressive behavior, but the responding officers didn't witness any dangerous behavior and left. As a result of this incident, a new Maryland state law was designed to make it easier for families and friends to get help for people suffering from severe mental illness, mental health advocates said. Subsequent History: On November 10, 2003, Logan was found guilty of second-degree murder and of using a handgun in commission of a felony, sparing him the death penalty. Instead, Logan faced up to 100 years in prison. At trial, Logan pleaded not guilty. His attorneys mounted an insanity defense. But prosecutors claimed Logan's mental health problems were due to his use of marijuana and cocaine. On September 7, 2005, the Court of Special Appeals ordered a new trial, ruling that the judge who presided over Logan's first trial did not adequately question potential jurors to determine their suitability. Defense attorney Fred Bennett, who defended Logan and sought his initial appeal, said that prosecutors' failure to have the county's psychiatrist correctly diagnose Logan's paranoid schizophrenia in his murder trial was critical in the case. Bennett said Logan will plead insanity in a new trial. Subsequent History: In September 2006, James Logan who was convicted of killing two Prince George’s County sheriff’s deputies was granted a new trial. In 2003, a jury found James Logan guilty of second-degree murder in the deaths of Elizabeth Magruder and James Arnaud. During his trial, his attorney said he shouldn’t be held criminally responsible because he was schizophrenic. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled last year that Logan should have a new trial. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed in part, based on what the State’s Attorney describes as a technicality involving the interrogation of the defendant. Subsequent History: On June 15, 2007, James Ramiah Logan’s retrial ended with a hung jury, after the group deliberated for two days. Logan, 28, was on trial for the second time in nearly four years, for killing deputies James Arnaud and Elizabeth Magruder on August 29, 2002. He was originally convicted on two counts of second-degree murder in 2003, and sentenced to 100 years imprisonment, but the Maryland Court of Appeals ordered a retrial, ruling that the court erred in jury selection. ‘‘There will be a retrial,” said Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for county State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, after the jury returned afternoon without a verdict. He said a retrial could be scheduled in three to four months. During closing arguments June 14, defense attorneys did not dispute that Logan committed the crimes. They asked the jury to find that Logan was not criminally responsible for his actions, claiming that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Source Of Information: The Baltimore Sun, 2/26/03; The Washington Post July 29, 2003; Montgomery County Gazette, 10/8/03, 6/18/07; Wash. Post, 10/28/03;The Baltimore Sun, 11/10/03; Wash. Post, 11/11/03; WJZ-TV, 9/8/05; DC Examiner, 9/7/05; WUSA Channel 9, 9/8/06

 

RecordID: 1405

Date: 7/2001

Location: Stirling City, Butte, CA

Summary: Two sheriff's deputies who went to a remote mountain cabin to question Richard Gerald Bracklow, 46, about threats and stolen guns were found shot to death in the cabin, along with Bracklow. When the deputies did not respond to radio calls, CHP officers and additional deputies arrived 45 minutes after the two deputies were first dispatched to Bracklow's cabin. A SWAT team that entered the cabin after firing tear gas in it found all three men dead. Bracklow, a self-styled survivalist who had lived by himself in the cabin for about three years and who was often seen armed, according to neighbors, either turned a gun on himself or died from wounds obtained during the shootout with the deputies. His father said Bracklow had been diagnosed two years ago with manic-depression but hadn't taken medication for a year.

Source Of Information: The Houston Chronicle, July 28, 2001 Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2001 The San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 2001

 

RecordID: 3423

Date: 9/2000

Location: , Nicholas, WV

Summary: In September 2000, David Morris, a man with paranoid schizophrenia, shot and killed Deputy William Giacomo as Giacomo processed him on a drunken driving charge in Nicholas County, WV. A security video showed that Morris pulled a gun out of his boot. Giacomo grabbed his arm and wrestled with him. They fell behind a counter, and Morris shot and killed Giacomo. Morris ran away after the shooting, but was apprehended three days later hiding in the woods. Subsequent History: Morris was evaluated for mental problems and placed under 24-hour surveillance. But two months after the shooting, Morris was found dead, hanging by a bed sheet from a writing desk. A state investigation ruled the death a suicide. Morris left no suicide note. Jailers said they found the paperback “Deadly Pursuit” propped open on his bed to a passage about a hanging. Prior History: Morris began having hallucinations as a teenager, according to his mother, Mona Jean Butler. He drank heavily and in 1989, he lost his license for drunken driving. The police told Butler to commit her son to a mental hospital, and a general practitioner who did not agree that hospitalization was necessary evaluated him. In 1996, Morris was convicted of shooting a man in the hand and shoulder in a dispute over a weed trimmer. He was sentenced to Mount Olive Correctional Facility in Fayette County. There, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He received medication and therapy and his behavior improved. In 1999, he was released and moved in with Butler. Two prison officials tried to persuade a judge to commit Morris to a mental institution, but the judge refused. Butler tried to persuade her son to go, but he wouldn’t, she said. He became paranoid, and began carrying a gun. Butler tried to get him admitted to the hospital, but before they had a bed open, Morris was arrested on the drunk driving charge and shot Officer Giacomo.

Source Of Information: The Charleston Gazette, January 17, 2005

 

RecordID: 2878

Date: 8/2003

Location: Grant, Marshall, AL

Summary: Brian Butler, 17, shot and killed Grant Police Chief Verlon Lemaster on August 15, 2003 in a home in Grant, Alabama. Lemaster and Madison County Deputy Mark Adams had come to the home to pick up Butler as a runaway. Butler and his friend Jerid Eldridge, also 17, ambushed the officers by hiding in a closet as they arrived. Butler allegedly fired a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol several times, striking Lemaster twice and fatally wounding him, and narrowly missing Adams. At Butler's hearing, a psychologist testified that Butler had several mental illness episodes and described him as suffering from schizophrenia and depression since he was very young. Butler pleaded not guilty on the grounds of mental defect. Subsequent History: On February 8, 2008, during the trial of Brian Butler, Prosecution witness Ashli Chaffin testified that Butler believed that the government was building "spy stuff" in silos on Keel Mountain near Gurley. Chaffin, 19, of Huntsville said her friends, Butler and co-defendant Jerid Eldridge, had stayed at her former home in Grant and that they were smoking marijuana in her bedroom just before Grant Police Chief Verlon Lemaster was shot and killed there on August 15, 2003. She told jurors that when she left the bedroom Butler and Eldridge, both 17 at the time, were armed, but that she didn't tell Lemaster when she met him as she was leaving her room. Former Madison County Sheriff's Investigator Mark Adams previously told the jury that Butler shot Lemaster and then tried to shoot him. Chaffin testified that she knew that Butler and Eldridge were runaways and that Butler had been released from a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham shortly before the shooting. She said Butler's mother had told her that Butler was not taking his anti-psychotic medication that was prescribed to him before he left the hospital. Chaffin also told jurors that Butler believed government agents were after him and that they had injected chemicals into him.

Source Of Information: Al.com (Alabama), 7/7/04; Huntsville Times, 2/7/08, 2/8/08, 2/12/08

 

RecordID: 2991

Date: 8/2004

Location: Indianapolis, Marion, IN

Summary: Kenneth Charles Anderson, 33, shot and killed his 66-year-old mother, Alice Marie Anderson, in her Indianapolis home, then gunned down a city police officer and wounded five others before being killed by one of the injured policemen on August 18, 2004. Early that morning, Indianapolis Police Department squad cars sped to Anderson's neighborhood, answering 911 calls from awakened neighbors who saw Anderson walking up the street indiscriminately firing an assault rifle. Anderson, armed with the assault rifle, a .357-caliber pistol and .22-caliber derringer, ambushed police before an injured SWAT team member gunned him down. In the weeks leading up to the incident, Anderson stopped taking medication for his schizophrenia, family and friends said, and began telling acquaintances he feared for his safety. He would often drive around the street late at night, apparently checking to see if anyone was spying on his house, said Len Thompson, 33, a neighbor. "Everyone around here thought he was sick," Thompson said. Neighbors said Anderson had been behaving irrationally the afternoon of the shooting and was spotted driving his pickup truck on the grass. Subsequent History: Dr. Steven Fekete, a psychiatrist enlisted by the city, said that the two hospitals that treated Anderson in the months before the shootings made inadequate assessments of the risk he posed. Fekete concluded that he would have sought to have Anderson committed. Instead, Anderson -- diagnosed as delusional with drug and alcohol problems by one hospital -- was discharged from the facility after 10 days with no discernable, or legally mandated, follow-up care. Prior History: Anderson's mental condition began to deteriorate in 2004, said his half-brother, David Mosby. He began threatening to kill his family, Mosby said, and told friends he thought the police were "trying to get him." Indianapolis police, responding to a complaint of a combative person, came to Anderson's home on Jan. 20, 2004. They seized nine guns and more than 200 bullets and brought him to St. Francis Hospital for evaluation. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia, Mosby said. On March 8, despite warnings from officers who knew Anderson, the department returned his guns because it had no legal grounds to keep them. Family members suspected that illegal drugs helped fuel Anderson's unstable behavior. Mosby said police officials found marijuana in Anderson's system.

Source Of Information: Indianapolis Star, August 19, 2004 Indianapolis Star, August 20, 2004 IndyStar.com, September 24, 2004

 

RecordID: 3027

Date: 8/2004

Location: Phoenix, Maricopa, AZ

Summary: On August 28, 2004, Douglas M. Tatar, a man with mental illness, shot and killed two Phoenix, AZ police officers and shot and wounded a third before killing himself. Before the officers were shot, Tatar wounded a man, Side Williams, 25, who had come to his apartment to collect a $100 bet. Tatar called his sister, Lori, and told her to have their mother turn on the television, then dialed 911 to report Williams' shooting. Officers Jason Wolfe, 27, and Eric White, 30, were killed when they responded and kicked in the door to his apartment. A third officer, Chris Parese, 26, also was shot. Tatar, 29, then put a gun into his mouth and committed suicide, police said. Tatar's family said that, at the time of his death, he was in the throes of a mental illness that had taken over his life in the past two years, making him paranoid and delusional. Tatar thought that police were following him and that his sister was poisoning him. He complained to Glendale, Phoenix and Peoria police. Co-workers had heard him say he "wouldn't think anything" of shooting a cop. And in the past year, Tatar traveled to five FBI offices to ask for help. Tatar even insisted police burglarized his apartment weeks before his death. His mother, Jean, said Tatar was "crying for help." "It was all in his mind," she said. "He was delusional, but he didn't really know that." Prior History: Tatar had no history of violence. However, in April 2004, family members thought Tatar might hurt himself and scheduled a mental-health evaluation. They canceled the appointment when Tatar appeared to be doing better. They later tried unsuccessfully to get Tatar committed for a 72-hour mental-health evaluation in June 2004. Mental-health workers spent about an hour with Tatar, determined he wasn't a danger and declined to commit him for evaluation.

Source Of Information: The Arizona Republic, August 31, 2004 The Arizona Republic, September 3, 2004

 

RecordID: 3027

Date: 8/2004

Location: Phoenix, Maricopa, AZ

Summary: On August 28, 2004, Douglas M. Tatar, a man with mental illness, shot and killed two Phoenix, AZ police officers and shot and wounded a third before killing himself. Before the officers were shot, Tatar wounded a man, Side Williams, 25, who had come to his apartment to collect a $100 bet. Tatar called his sister, Lori, and told her to have their mother turn on the television, then dialed 911 to report Williams' shooting. Officers Jason Wolfe, 27, and Eric White, 30, were killed when they responded and kicked in the door to his apartment. A third officer, Chris Parese, 26, also was shot. Tatar, 29, then put a gun into his mouth and committed suicide, police said. Tatar's family said that, at the time of his death, he was in the throes of a mental illness that had taken over his life in the past two years, making him paranoid and delusional. Tatar thought that police were following him and that his sister was poisoning him. He complained to Glendale, Phoenix and Peoria police. Co-workers had heard him say he "wouldn't think anything" of shooting a cop. And in the past year, Tatar traveled to five FBI offices to ask for help. Tatar even insisted police burglarized his apartment weeks before his death. His mother, Jean, said Tatar was "crying for help." "It was all in his mind," she said. "He was delusional, but he didn't really know that." Prior History: Tatar had no history of violence. However, in April 2004, family members thought Tatar might hurt himself and scheduled a mental-health evaluation. They canceled the appointment when Tatar appeared to be doing better. They later tried unsuccessfully to get Tatar committed for a 72-hour mental-health evaluation in June 2004. Mental-health workers spent about an hour with Tatar, determined he wasn't a danger and declined to commit him for evaluation.

Source Of Information: The Arizona Republic, August 31, 2004 The Arizona Republic, September 3, 2004

 

RecordID: 3121

Date: 9/2004

Location: Indianapolis Indianapolis, Marion, IN

Summary: Police said Khadir Al-Khattab, 26, shot and killed Butler University Police Officer James L. Davis outside a field house on the campus of the Indianapolis school on September 24, 2004. Al-Khattab was shot in an ensuing gun battle with sheriff's deputies and died later. Al-Khattab's brother said his father tried to have him placed in a mental hospital four days earlier -- but there were no openings. Vince Huber, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, said the closing of several state mental hospitals in recent years was a factor in Davis' death. Prior History: Khadir Al-Khattab had been convicted of domestic battery and fighting with police within the last three years, and had spent about a month in the state's prison for the mentally ill in New Castle. Family members said his behavior had worsened in the last year and they had become increasingly worried.

Source Of Information: Associated Press, September 27, 2004 Associated Press, October 1, 2004

 

RecordID: 3220

Date: 4/2004

Location: Asheville, Buncombe, NC

Summary: On April 4, 2004, Eddie Cassada opened fire with a sawed-off shotgun on authorities that were trying to serve him involuntary commitment papers at his home in Asheville, NC. Killed in the attack was Sgt. Jeff Hewitt, a 33-year-old deputy with the Buncombe County sheriff's office. Cassada, 56, fled the scene after the shooting. Deputies later found his body behind a home in the subdivision where he lived, victim of an apparent suicide. Cassada's wife had contacted the police earlier and said that her husband was not stable and needed to be hospitalized.

Source Of Information: Associated Press, April 5, 2004

 

RecordID: 3761

Date: 8/2005

Location: Tucson, Pima, AZ

Summary: On August 10, 2005, Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Graham, Aaron Swyers, a man with a history of mental illness, and cab driver Dawud Abusida were struck and killed by a pickup truck while engaged in a struggle on a busy road in Tucson, AZ. Swyers, 23, had recently been ordered by Pima County Superior Court to take medication by injection for schizophrenia and to live in a group home for seriously mentally ill men. He had been released from the psychiatric unit of University Physicians Healthcare Hospital at Kino Campus on Aug. 9, 2005. Deputy Graham had responded to a call from Swyers' mother the next day. Swyers was hysterical, according to Graham's report. Graham asked Swyers to leave the area. He did not seek any crisis help for the man. Swyers then took a cab to a convenience store, where he called 911 at least five times in the next hour and told a dispatcher he had run out of money and needed a ride home. He also identified himself as a schizophrenic and said he was worried "for my well-being." Deputy Graham responded and a struggle ensued between the two men. Abusida, driving by the scene, was trying to help Deputy Graham subdue Swyers when all three men were killed. The driver of the truck was not charged. Swyers had a criminal record and a history of mental heath problems. His widow said he was recently diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and had been "self-medicating" with methamphetamine. Prior History: Swyers shot off one of his fingers in October 2004 while being treated as a non-seriously mentally ill patient. Swyers was hospitalized in April 2005 after plotting suicide. In May 2005, he was saved from a suicide attempt by a sheriff's department SWAT team after he locked himself inside a truck and pointed a rifle at his head. After Swyers gave up his gun, a deputy took him to the hospital as an emergency psychiatric patient. Swyers was found by psychiatrists to be seriously mentally ill June 9, 2005, after shooting himself in the calf during a standoff with police. Firefighters took Swyers to Kino nine days before he died after he was found on the road making "paranoid statements." Swyers was admitted to Kino's psychiatric unit Aug. 4, 2005, for a self-inflicted 8-inch cut to his arm. A lawsuit filed by Swyers' family alleges that Swyers' discharge plan was "inadequate" given his risk for relapse, his history of not taking his medications or showing up for appointments and his history of recent hospitalizations. Swyers was released and sent by taxicab to a unsupervised boarding house, and while a follow-up appointment was scheduled for Swyers, it wasn't until a week after his release, the lawsuit states. In addition, Swyers had been placed on an anti-psychotic medication five days before he died, but that particular drug takes three weeks to reach therapeutic levels, the lawsuit states.

Source Of Information: Tucson KOLD, August 12, 2005; Tucson KOLD - August 12, 2005; Tucson Citizen, August 17, 2005; Tucson Citizen, August 27, 2005; Tucson Arizona Daily Star, October 2, 2005, August 22, 2006

 

RecordID: 3776

Date: 8/2005

Location: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, NM

Summary: On August 28, 2005, two police officers in were fatally shot outside the home of John Hyde, a mentally ill man they were asked to take to a hospital for an evaluation. Hyde, 48, pleaded not guilty to four open counts of murder for the deaths of Officers Michael King, 50, and Richard Smith, 47 and one count of armed robbery. Hyde's family said his behavior began to change several months before the shootings, when they became concerned that he had stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The family said Hyde made daily phone calls to Kaseman Presbyterian Behavioral Health Care in the weeks before the shooting. Subsequent History: Earlier that same day, Hyde went to Rider Valley Motorcycle Shop in Albuquerque, where he usually purchased parts for his motorcycle. Once there, he robbed and then fatally shot store employees David Fisher, 17, and Garret Iversen, 26. Police say $50 was missing from the shop's cash register. According to the autopsy report, Iverson didn't "move fast enough" when Hyde asked for a headlight for his motorcycle. Several hours after these shootings, Hyde shot and killed the two police officers outside his home when they showed up to take him to a hospital for an evaluation. Hyde pleaded not guilty to four open counts of murder for the deaths of Officers Michael King, 50, and Richard Smith, 47 and one count of armed robbery. Subsequent History: On August 30, 2005, John Hyde was court-ordered to the state psychiatric hospital for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. On September 2, 2005, a state grand jury indicted Hyde on five open counts of murder, as well as child abuse, tampering with evidence and armed robbery. Hyde's lawyers argued that Hyde was incompetent to stand trial because of his schizophrenia and his refusal to speak to them. The attorneys argued that grand jury proceedings should be halted because Hyde's competency had not been determined. The judge denied that motion. Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said her office might seek the death penalty against Hyde. On October 4, 2005, Hyde pleaded not guilty and told a judge he wanted to represent himself. Prior History: John Hyde's family said his behavior began to change several months before the shootings, when they became concerned that he had stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. On April 2, 2005, police responded to an argument between Hyde and his 80-year-old mother, Geneva Hyde, with whom he was living at the time. According to police, Hyde had dead bolted the front door, preventing his mother from entering. Police arrived, determined the scene was secure and left without incident. On April 30, state police were asked to pick up Hyde from his home and transport him to Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital. State police took him to there without incident after family members told police Hyde had stopped taking medication and had asked relatives for weapons. Two days later, they responded to a dispute between Hyde and the owner of the property where he was living. Officers ordered Hyde to leave at the owner's request. Hyde had been diagnosed with mental illness in 1990. Prior History: At a hearing in December 2005, John Hyde was described as "making progress under treatment" but was ordered to undergo additional treatment at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute, the state's psychiatric hospital, in Las Vegas where he has remained since shortly after his arrest. An additional competency report was filed in May 2006, but all reports involving Hyde's mental health have been sealed under court order. Subsequent History: On August 25, 2006, State District Judge Albert S. “Pat” Murdoch ruled that a hearing to determine if John Hyde is mentally competent to stand trial will go forward on August 30. Murdoch denied a motion to waive the hearing by Hyde's attorneys, who acknowledged that “clear and convincing evidence” exists to convict Hyde in the August 18, 2005 slayings of five people. They also conceded that Hyde remains incompetent and a danger to the community. In light of that, the defense argued that it is “simply unjust and untoward to allow the state to create a public spectacle of a seriously mentally ill and incompetent person.” In denying the motion, Murdoch said he could find nothing in the law establishing a patient's right to waive the hearing. Hyde's attorneys said they would appeal the decision. Subsequent History: On August 31, 2006, the state Court of Appeals issued a stay against the hearing for John Hyde, the man accused of killing five people in a single day. In a one-page order, the court granted the stay pending a future ruling on an emergency application filed by Hyde's attorneys. The court asked that the state file its response within 10 days, at which time it will consider the merits of the defense application. The hearing, which would have included more than 58 witnesses, was to determine whether Hyde is a danger to the community and should remain in the state psychiatric hospital, and whether "clear and convincing" evidence exists to convict him of gunning down five people on Aug. 18, 2005. Subsequent History: On August 21, 2007, State District Judge Pat Murdoch sentenced John Hyde to a state mental institution for 179 years. Murdoch made his decision after hearing nearly two days of testimony in a hearing that was meant to determine whether John Hyde remained a danger and whether there was enough evidence to convict him of the August 2005 crimes. The ruling means Hyde will remain at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, where he has remained since shortly after the shootings. If Hyde, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, is treated to competency, he could be brought to trial.

Source Of Information: Santa Fe New Mexican/AP, 8/22/05; Albuquerque Journal, 8/20/05, 8/21/05, 8/22/05, 8/24/05; KOAT-TV, 8/30/05, 9/21/05, 8/20/07Albuquerque Journal, 9/3/05; KVIA-TV, 9/25/05; KOB.com, 10/9/09

 

RecordID: 3776

Date: 8/2005

Location: Albuquerque, Bernalillo, NM

Summary: On August 28, 2005, two police officers in were fatally shot outside the home of John Hyde, a mentally ill man they were asked to take to a hospital for an evaluation. Hyde, 48, pleaded not guilty to four open counts of murder for the deaths of Officers Michael King, 50, and Richard Smith, 47 and one count of armed robbery. Hyde's family said his behavior began to change several months before the shootings, when they became concerned that he had stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The family said Hyde made daily phone calls to Kaseman Presbyterian Behavioral Health Care in the weeks before the shooting. Subsequent History: Earlier that same day, Hyde went to Rider Valley Motorcycle Shop in Albuquerque, where he usually purchased parts for his motorcycle. Once there, he robbed and then fatally shot store employees David Fisher, 17, and Garret Iversen, 26. Police say $50 was missing from the shop's cash register. According to the autopsy report, Iverson didn't "move fast enough" when Hyde asked for a headlight for his motorcycle. Several hours after these shootings, Hyde shot and killed the two police officers outside his home when they showed up to take him to a hospital for an evaluation. Hyde pleaded not guilty to four open counts of murder for the deaths of Officers Michael King, 50, and Richard Smith, 47 and one count of armed robbery. Subsequent History: On August 30, 2005, John Hyde was court-ordered to the state psychiatric hospital for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. On September 2, 2005, a state grand jury indicted Hyde on five open counts of murder, as well as child abuse, tampering with evidence and armed robbery. Hyde's lawyers argued that Hyde was incompetent to stand trial because of his schizophrenia and his refusal to speak to them. The attorneys argued that grand jury proceedings should be halted because Hyde's competency had not been determined. The judge denied that motion. Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said her office might seek the death penalty against Hyde. On October 4, 2005, Hyde pleaded not guilty and told a judge he wanted to represent himself. Prior History: John Hyde's family said his behavior began to change several months before the shootings, when they became concerned that he had stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. On April 2, 2005, police responded to an argument between Hyde and his 80-year-old mother, Geneva Hyde, with whom he was living at the time. According to police, Hyde had dead bolted the front door, preventing his mother from entering. Police arrived, determined the scene was secure and left without incident. On April 30, state police were asked to pick up Hyde from his home and transport him to Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital. State police took him to there without incident after family members told police Hyde had stopped taking medication and had asked relatives for weapons. Two days later, they responded to a dispute between Hyde and the owner of the property where he was living. Officers ordered Hyde to leave at the owner's request. Hyde had been diagnosed with mental illness in 1990. Prior History: At a hearing in December 2005, John Hyde was described as "making progress under treatment" but was ordered to undergo additional treatment at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute, the state's psychiatric hospital, in Las Vegas where he has remained since shortly after his arrest. An additional competency report was filed in May 2006, but all reports involving Hyde's mental health have been sealed under court order. Subsequent History: On August 25, 2006, State District Judge Albert S. “Pat” Murdoch ruled that a hearing to determine if John Hyde is mentally competent to stand trial will go forward on August 30. Murdoch denied a motion to waive the hearing by Hyde's attorneys, who acknowledged that “clear and convincing evidence” exists to convict Hyde in the August 18, 2005 slayings of five people. They also conceded that Hyde remains incompetent and a danger to the community. In light of that, the defense argued that it is “simply unjust and untoward to allow the state to create a public spectacle of a seriously mentally ill and incompetent person.” In denying the motion, Murdoch said he could find nothing in the law establishing a patient's right to waive the hearing. Hyde's attorneys said they would appeal the decision. Subsequent History: On August 31, 2006, the state Court of Appeals issued a stay against the hearing for John Hyde, the man accused of killing five people in a single day. In a one-page order, the court granted the stay pending a future ruling on an emergency application filed by Hyde's attorneys. The court asked that the state file its response within 10 days, at which time it will consider the merits of the defense application. The hearing, which would have included more than 58 witnesses, was to determine whether Hyde is a danger to the community and should remain in the state psychiatric hospital, and whether "clear and convincing" evidence exists to convict him of gunning down five people on Aug. 18, 2005. Subsequent History: On August 21, 2007, State District Judge Pat Murdoch sentenced John Hyde to a state mental institution for 179 years. Murdoch made his decision after hearing nearly two days of testimony in a hearing that was meant to determine whether John Hyde remained a danger and whether there was enough evidence to convict him of the August 2005 crimes. The ruling means Hyde will remain at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, where he has remained since shortly after the shootings. If Hyde, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, is treated to competency, he could be brought to trial.

Source Of Information: Santa Fe New Mexican/AP, 8/22/05; Albuquerque Journal, 8/20/05, 8/21/05, 8/22/05, 8/24/05; KOAT-TV, 8/30/05, 9/21/05, 8/20/07Albuquerque Journal, 9/3/05; KVIA-TV, 9/25/05; KOB.com, 10/9/09

 

RecordID: 3898

Date: 0/1992

Location: Columbia, Richland, SC

Summary: Mar-Reece Hughes was convicted and sentenced to die in 1995 for killing Brent McCants during a traffic stop on 1992. Hughes has asked since at least 2000 to die in the electric chair, but his lawyer has argued through several courts that Hughes isn't capable of making that decision. In a 2004 court hearing, Hughes described himself as world-class athlete whom the state wanted to kill to dissect his body to discover the secret to his athletic prowess. Hughes has smeared feces on walls in prison, said he believes prison staff is poisoning his food and claimed the FBI runs a concentration camp in prison. Three psychiatrists testified in 2004 that Hughes has schizophrenia, court records show.

Source Of Information: Rock Hill Herald, February 14, 2006

 

RecordID: 4144

Date: 12/2005

Location: Ft. Worth, Tarrant, TX

Summary: In his first public statements since his arrest, Stephen Lance Heard said he thought he was being robbed when he fired at Fort Worth police Officer Henry "Hank" Nava Jr. Mr. Heard, 39, was tearful and apologetic throughout a 20-minute interview at the Mansfield Law Enforcement Center. Before Officer Nava died, the charges were attempted capital murder and aggravated kidnapping. Charges are expected to be upgraded and the bail increased, said Tarrant County Sheriff's Department spokesman Terry Grisham. Heard was being held on $2 million bail at Tarrant County jail. Heard called the shooting a stupid mistake and said "there's no way" he would have fired on the officers if he had known who they were. "When the door opens, all I see is a face and a weapon,” Heard said about the raid. Fort Worth police said that officers identified themselves and that Mr. Heard fired first. Heard, insisting that he wanted to set the record straight, said he believed that people were trying to steal his identity-theft equipment and money when they came to the northwest Fort Worth mobile home where he was staying. When officers opened the door to the room where Mr. Heard was hiding, he said, he didn't hear them identify themselves or see the shirts or jackets with "Police" emblazoned on the front and back. Mr. Heard also contended that police shot first, hitting him in the chin, and that he used his 9mm handgun only in self-defense. After the shooting, Mr. Heard ran to another mobile home and held a 25-year-old woman hostage for three hours before he surrendered, police said. During the standoff, Mr. Heard said, he drank four beers to calm his nerves. He said he also had smoked marijuana and a small amount of methamphetamine earlier Tuesday. Family members said Mr. Heard has a long history of drug abuse and mental problems, possibly bipolar disorder, and had attempted suicide in the past. Mr. Heard was being held on suicide watch at the jail Thursday night, Mr. Grisham said. Police have said that Officer Nava was shot while trying to gather information on Heard, who was suspected of participating in an identity-theft ring. A day earlier, Mr. Heard was believed to have led Sansom Park police on a car chase after a dispute with a gas station attendant. He also had an outstanding warrant for violating parole for a conviction on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and state parole officials had warned police agencies that Mr. Heard had a weapon. Police said Heard had been a member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, an assertion he denied. Heard's mother, Deloris Pulce, said that her son shouldn't make excuses and that he has to face the consequences of his actions, whatever they might be. Chad Clark said he believes his cousin's account of the shootout. He said that Heard would never fire at a police officer intentionally and that his drug use and contact with criminals made him paranoid. Heard said Thursday that he had recently considered straightening out his life by turning himself in to authorities. He said the remainder of his sentence for the parole violation wouldn't be a big deal. "Anyone can do a year," he said. But while considering a life free of crime, Heard was also starting a new career in identity theft and was studying computer programs used for that purpose, he said. Subsequent History: Deloris Pulce said her son, Stephen Lance Heard, called her and offered the explanation about why he shot officer Henry "Hank" Nava. "He told me that he thought he was being robbed," Pulce said in a telephone interview from her home in Texarkana. "He didn't realize it was a policeman. He was in plain clothes. "I don't want him thinking I'm so stupid that I'm going to believe everything he said," Pulce said. "He wasn't being robbed. He knew he had a warrant. He knew what they were doing and he shouldn't have had a gun." Pulce said her son suffers from manic depression, is bipolar, and has previously attempted suicide. Still, she said, she hopes an expert does not try to present her son as insane should the case go to trial. "He wasn't taking any medications in prison and his mind was clear," Pulce said. "He just can't stand the stress and responsibility of day-to-day life."

Source Of Information: The Dallas Morning News, December 2, 2005; Fort Worth Star Telegram, December 1, 2005

 

RecordID: 4441

Date: 5/2006

Location: Chantilly, Fairfax, VA

Summary: On May 8, 2006, 18-year-old Michael Kennedy opened fire outside the Sully District Police Station, killing one officer and wounding two others before he was shot and killed at the scene, authorities said. A 40-year-old female detective died at a hospital after the shooting, said police Chief David Rohrer, who did not identify the woman, a nine-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department. A 53-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery, while the third was treated for minor injuries. It was not clear whether the third officer, a 28-year-old man, was shot or sustained his injuries from flying glass or a ricocheting bullet. Mary Ann Jennings, a Fairfax County police spokeswoman, said the gunman had a rifle and two handguns and had stolen a van that he drove to the station after unsuccessfully attempting to carjack a pickup truck. Jennings said they did not know "exactly who he was targeting except to say he was targeting police officers." He was crouched between two vehicles in the station's parking lot when he was killed. For hours after the shootings, area roads were blocked and nearby buildings, including a high school, were locked down as police sought other possible suspects. Police later determined there was just one gunman, said police spokeswoman Lt. Amy Lubas. An all-clear was given to the school about three hours after the shootings. Prior History: Michael Kennedy was a 2005 graduate of Westfield High School. Peter Kirschner, a former classmate, said that Kennedy used to wear military clothing to school. Another former classmate, Marc Capistrant said "I remember he wrote some really weird poems, took some pictures of himself wearing a gas mask. Strange stuff like that. I thought it was kind of awkward." Police Chief David Rohrer identified Vicky Armel, as the 40-year-old female detective who was killed outside the Fairfax County Police Sully District Station. Police said a 53-year-old officer remained in critical condition after undergoing surgery. It was not clear whether the third officer, a 28-year-old man, was shot or suffered his injuries from flying glass or a ricocheting bullet. Prior History: Police said that the teenage gunman, Michael Kennedy, attempted to carjack a Ford pickup truck in the London Towne community in the Centreville area at about 3:30 p.m., but was not successful and fled on foot. Witnesses said that he was dressed in complete camoflauge gear and a black mask and was armed with several rifles and pistols. At 3:45 p.m., Kennedy was successful in carjacking a white work van and drove to the Sully District substation. The first reports of gunfire in the parking lot were at 3:52 p.m. Police said Kennedy drove to the back of the station, exited the van and opened fire on a cruiser. Inside was an officer who was preparing to go off duty. That officer was hit by five bullets and is now in critical condition at a local hospital. Police said the gunman then walked deeper into the parking lot and encountered Armel. Gunfire was exchanged, and Armel was struck several times. She later died at the hospital. Kennedy then continued walking into the parking lot. An officer who just arrived for duty armed himself and exchanged gunfire. Several other officers also responded, and there was confusion as to how many gunmen were shooting at the substation. Finally, two officers who responded were able to shoot and kill Kennedy in the parking lot. Police said Kennedy was armed with five pistols, an AK-47-style of assault rifle and a long-barreled, high-powered hunting rifle. Investigators said he had multiple ammunitions for each weapon. Police said Kennedy fired at least 70 rounds during the gunfight. Prior History: On April 18, 2007, Michael Kennedy approached Daniel Aparicio, 32, who was in his dark green Toyota 4Runner, heading home from his Rockville office. Kennedy walked to the driver-side window, put his hand behind his back and told Aparicio he had a gun. "Get out of the car," he said. "Get out now." As Aparicio eased out of the driver's seat and handed over his keys, Kennedy noticed a child's car seat inside. His demeanor softened instantly. "Oh, I see you have children?" Aparicio recalled him saying. "Yes, I do," Aparicio replied. "You know, I hate to do this to you," Aparicio said Kennedy told him. "I'm a man of God." When the police responded to Aparicio’s call, he said they checked the Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health Center, a low-rise brick mental health facility across the street, to see whether any patients were missing. No one was, he said the police were told. The next day, Aparicio said, police told him that the mental health facility had been mistaken. Someone was missing. He had jumped out a window to escape. His name was Michael Kennedy. After Kennedy was freed on bond, he returned to his home, about three miles south of the police station, where he lived with his parents and younger sister. Next-door neighbor Stephanie McClure, 20, called him "a perfectly normal kid [who] never showed any sign of abnormalness." But in the past month, several friends agreed, he'd become irrational. On May 6, 2006. Brendan Cowan talked to Kennedy about his troubles and his stay at the psychiatric center. "He honestly felt like he was not being treated like a human, like he was being treated like a dog by the doctors at the mental facility," Cowan said. Kennedy seemed to be in a better mood when they parted, but his spirits had dipped by the time he dropped by Rebecca Green's house a few hours later. According to Green, Kennedy talked about two races of aliens on Earth. Kennedy saw himself as the leader of the good race with a mission of overcoming the bad aliens and saving the planet. Kennedy told his friend that some of the bad aliens were disguised as regular people. Green said that Kennedy’s delusions had started recently. She also said that she saw nothing threatening in his rambling. Later that night, Kennedy chatted on the Internet with his friend Ashley Wittman. She said that what he said about good and bad aliens "was so ridiculous it didn't make sense." Although Kennedy talked about his hatred of mankind, Wittman said that "He didn't talk about hurting anyone. He just thought he was higher than other people, like a higher power. And he needed to save the world. " Michael Kennedy's friends said that his fleeting stay at the Rockville psychiatric center and the carjacking charges that followed were at odds with what they knew of their skateboard-loving friend, who had always been a little zany without seeming unstable. He wore black, but so do a lot of kids. He told tall tales about himself on the Internet -- he was a soldier and made more than $250,000 a year -- but that hardly made him odd. He wasn't alienated, or picked on at school, or a loner, his friends said.

Source Of Information: www.nbc4.com, 5/9/06, 5/10/06, 5/23/06, 5/26/06; The Washington Post, 5/10/06, 5/8/07; WTOP Radio, 5/8/07

 

RecordID: 4458

Date: 5/2006

Location: Dearborn Heights, Wayne, MI

Summary: On May 24, 2006, Officer Jason Makowski, 32, was fatally shot during a confrontation with a man in a neighborhood near Joy and Beech Daly roads. Makowski was assisting police who responded to a 911 call about a man outside his house carrying a gun. Police said they were called to the home earlier in the day, but believed they had resolved a conflict with the man, Jeffrey Wolf, a 61-year-old Vietnam veteran who suffered from depression. Wolf's wife said in the mid-afternoon that her husband locked the doors to the house and told her to take cover. Police said Wolf argued with a waste management crew and fired gunshots. Upon seeing police, Wolf began shooting at officers who fired back killing Wolf. Prior History: Wolf had an altercation with his mother on Mother's Day and was taken to a mental hospital. Investigators believe he may have been off his prescribed antidepressants during Wednesday's incident.

Source Of Information: www.clickondetroit.com, 5/25/06; Press & Guide, 7/16/06

 

RecordID: 4477

Date: 4/2007

Location: South Bend, Saint Joseph, IN

Summary: On April 24, 2007, Scott Barnaby, 46, fatally shot Cpl. Nick Polizzotto, 34, who was responding to a shots-fired call at the Wooden Indian. Patrolman Michael Norby was wounded in the shootout. Barnaby, the officers' assailant also was killed. Barnaby was "a drug addict and mentally ill for many years," his family wrote in a sympathy letter sent to the Police Department. Barnaby's mother, Lynne Barnaby, said the letter was from her entire family and meant to convey their condolences to the police department, the Polizzotto family and the community. Lynne Barnaby said her son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia years ago and had been on and off medication. Prior History: At times, Chris Barnaby thought his older brother would have a chance at a normal life. "He had a girlfriend, a daughter, a job and a home on the south side," Barnaby said. "I was breathing a sigh of relief because I thought he had straightened out and was going to have a life." But Scott Barnaby quit taking his medication, Chris Barnaby said, and that's when his life often unraveled. Scott Barnaby had a serious drug problem and paranoid schizophrenia, which were diagnosed in his early 30s. Chris Barnaby said his brother spent most of his life battling mental illness. He would sporadically be treated at institutions and occasionally was on medication. Chris Barnaby said his brother's mental illness should have been enough to keep him from buying a gun. But Scott Barnaby was sold a gun at a gun show and used it three days later to shoot two police officers, killing one and injuring the other. Scott Barnaby was forcefully committed to a mental institution in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Chris Barnaby said, but he isn't sure whether it involved a judge's ruling. Chris Barnaby said his brother spent time in three other institutions in the Midwest, including Madison Center in South Bend. Chris Barnaby said that his brother often believed "neighbors were after him, or the FBI was chasing him." Scott had been estranged from his family for about five years. A friend of Chris' told him he had seen Scott walking down the street near the Wooden Indian Motel a week before the shooting. Chris drove there to try to talk to him, and Scott almost pushed him off the balcony. Chris said Scott was known to have "violent activity, but he never hurt anyone." Chris said Scott should have been in a mental institution and taking medication, not living at the Wooden Indian Motel, which has been the scene of crime and drug activity over the years, according to police.

Source Of Information: South Bend Tribune, 5/4/07, 5/12/07

 

RecordID: 4496

Date: 5/2007

Location: Moscow, Latah, ID

Summary: On May 19, 2007, 36-year-old Jason Hamilton fatally shot his wife, Crystal, and took guns into town to open fire. In the end, Moscow Police Officer Lee Newbill, church sexton Paul Bauer and Hamilton himself also were dead. Three others were injured. Hamilton had a history of domestic violence and mental illness. He was tried for felony strangulation of a girlfriend, he served time in jail and on probation, and he underwent two psychiatric evaluations. He received mental health counseling and was placed on an involuntary mental hold for attempting suicide. Hamilton also possessed two semiautomatic rifles and had described his desire to end his life in a shooting spree. Prior History: Hamilton had served a jail sentence for choking a girlfriend in 2005, was cited for a bar fight in 2006, violated a probation agreement this spring and attempted suicide by overdose in mid-February, when he reportedly made the remark about taking other people with him. So why wasn’t Hamilton civilly committed to a mental hospital? “The commitment laws just don’t allow people to be committed easily in Idaho,” said Diana Pals, the president of the Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association and a Moscow counselor. A threat “has to be very specific and very imminent for ” a judge to say, ‘Yes, this person’s a danger to the community,’ she said. Moscow’s assistant police chief, David Duke, said that on February 16, Moscow police officers placed Hamilton on an involuntary hold after he attempted to commit suicide by an overdose of prescription drugs and had him evaluated for possible civil commitment. Idaho law requires two evaluations, after which evaluators make a recommendation to a court for commitment, if warranted. “Based on doctors’ statements given to us, he stated that if he wanted to commit suicide, he wouldn’t do it this way, but he would take a whole bunch of people with him, either by shooting or by a bomb,” Duke said. But Hamilton later backed off that comment, and after a full evaluation he wasn’t recommended for commitment. It’s unclear whether he was diagnosed with any mental illness, but a court hearing on his probation violation was rescheduled recently so he could attend counseling sessions in Pullman, police said. Randy Davis, program director of mental health services at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, said he couldn’t comment on the Hamilton case, but that a single comment expressing violent wishes would be only one part of an overall evaluation that would include medical and mental health history, the context and attitude of the patient, and a host of other factors. Under Idaho law, people can be hospitalized against their will if they’re found likely to hurt themselves or others, but the standard requires that there be a “substantial” risk shown in the patients’ past behaviors, or that a specific person has reason to feel threatened by a patient.

Source Of Information: Spokesman Review, 5/22/07, 5/27/07; USA Today, 5/23/07; KTVB TV, 5/24/07; Oregonian, 5/24/07

 

RecordID: 4507

Date: 5/2007

Location: Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga, OH

Summary: On May 26, 2007, Timothy Halton Jr., 27, shot officer Jason West, who later died at Huron Hospital. The incident occurred when officers were called to Altamont Avenue to quell a loud party that erupted into a fight over a woman. Three police cars responded. West arrived first and blocked a vehicle that was trying to leave. Halton was in a black car parked nearby. West got out of his car and was immediately shot by Halton. Halton got out of his vehicle and walked toward West, firing more shots. Halton then ditched the gun in a neighboring driveway and ran north to Beechwood Avenue. Two officers fired at him but missed. He broke into a woman's house. She fled unharmed. Officers found Halton hiding on the second floor. Prior History: On July 8, 2000, Timothy Halton Jr. punched and kicked a 60-year-old man who walked past his home. Halton's younger sister, 19, tells police that Halton had pulled up lawn ornaments and snapped a rake earlier in the day. On July 9, 2000, police get a call from Halton's screaming sister, who has locked her brother out of the home. The woman described Halton - who is banging on the door - as bipolar and "violent when not properly medicated." At the South Euclid jail, he switched between politeness and aggression. A disorderly-conduct charge is later dismissed. On May 24, 2001, Halton's mother, Jeanette Tiggs, called police to say her son was threatening family members. Halton, she said, wants to borrow her car so that he can "go kill" President Bush, who is visiting Greater Cleveland. When Tiggs refuses to let her son take the car, he choked her. He later blamed his actions on the Holy Ghost. On October 4, 2003, Halton's mother, Jeanette Tiggs, called police to report Halton's threats to relatives. While keeping relatives at bay with a drinking glass, Halton says that he wants "a bullet in his head" and that he is going to "kill a police officer." Halton stormed out of his house and, when stopped by police, smashes a patrol car with a brick. He then punched Patrolman Mark Merims in the face, breaking the officer's glasses. Timothy Halton had been convicted in December 2004 of assault. He was sentenced to probation and ordered to take antipsychotic medication. His probation ended in June 2006, according to court records. Prior History: Nineteen days before Timothy Halton Jr. was accused of killing Cleveland Heights police officer Jason West, he showed up for a psychiatry appointment at the downtown offices of Mental Health Service for Homeless Persons Inc. Halton had lived at the agency's homeless shelter in Cleveland since February. He had skipped his monthly anti-psychotic injections recently, but "he didn't demonstrate any behavior that would set off any alarms about potential dangerousness," said agency chief Steve Friedman. The psychiatrist asked Halton to stick around for the shot. But Halton left, and the staff never saw him again. As with Halton's mother, who struggled to get her son help, there was nothing the agency could do to compel treatment. Subsequent History: On October 30, 2009, Timothy Halton Jr. was been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Halton entered a guilty plea to aggravated murder during a regularly scheduled pre-trial hearing. Prosecutors dropped their demand for the death penalty as part of the plea deal. Halton, a schizophrenic, had originally attempted an insanity defense, but a judge ruled he was competent to stand trial.

Source Of Information: Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/26/07, 5/30/07, 5/31/07, 10/30/09; The Morning Journal, 6/2/07; Plain Dealer, 6/2/07, 6/3/07; Cleveland Free Times, 6/6/07; WKYC.com, 10/30/09

 

RecordID: 4549

Date: 7/2007

Location: , Wabash, IN

Summary: On July 5, 2007, 21-year-old Joseph M. Vultaggio Jr. shot and killed Master-Trooper Det. David E. Rich as the trooper stopped for what he thought was a motorist assist as Vultaggio sat parked on the shoulder of U.S. 24, about 40 miles southwest of Fort Wayne. Vultaggio, whose parents say had a history of mental illness, then used the shotgun to kill himself, police reported. Indiana State Police Public Information officer Sgt. Tony Slocum said they believe Vultaggio had run out of gas on U.S. 24, a busy four-lane highway in rural Indiana, prior to the shootings. Reports from the Indiana State Police indicated Rich’s body was found next to the Pontiac Aztec, the victim of a shotgun wound to the chest. Slocum said it appeared Rich had been shot while standing next to the driver’s side door and the impact had knocked him back to the ground toward the rear vehicle panel. The shootings occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Police found Vultaggio dead inside. Slocum said their investigation indicates Vultaggio was the lone occupant in the vehicle at the time of the shootings. A news release from the state police had reported Rich, who was wearing street clothes, was found with his weapon unholstered and his badge and police radio in hand as he approached Vultaggio’s vehicle. Prior History: Vultaggio’s parents said that their son had been diagnosed with bipolar-schizophrenia more than a year before the shooting and had been receiving treatment off and on from Northern Michigan Community Mental Health in Gaylord. They also indicated he had been treated for the illness at residential psychiatric facilities in Florida and Grand Rapids, but had signed himself out from each because he was an adult.

Source Of Information: Gaylord Herald Times (MI), 7/11/07; Gaylord Times Herald, 7/18/07

 

RecordID: 4590

Date: 8/2001

Location: Dunlap, Fresno, CA

Summary: On August 21, 2001, Ramadan Abdullah, a schizophrenic man, fatally shot Fresno County sheriff's deputy Erik Telen. At the time, Telen was investigating a house burglary in the foothill town of Dunlap. Telen and his partner, Brent Stalker, had gotten word that a man had broken into a house near the foothills town of Dunlap. Telen and Stalker entered the house through a side door. When Telen rounded a corner into the living room, Abdullah was waiting, armed and crouched behind a cast-iron stove. He fired almost a full load of buckshot at Telen. Half a dozen projectiles struck Telen in the head. Deputies dragged their colleague out of the house as Abdullah continued firing. But Telen was already dead. Abdullah surrendered after a 51/2-hour standoff. Subsequent History: On March 26, 2008, the murder trial for Ramadan Abdullah began. Abdullah was accused of slaying a Fresno County sheriff's deputy almost seven years ago. The question facing jurors will have to answer was not whether Ramadan Abdullah killed Erik Telen but, rather, whether Abdullah was insane when he shot him. Prior History: Ramadan Abdullah ran away from his New York family in the summer of 2001 to join a fringe Islamic camp in the Tulare County foothills. A month later, he ran off again, broke into a home just north of the Fresno County border and wound up in a gunbattle with sheriff's deputies. Both the prosecution and defense agree that Abdullah shot Telen. But Abdullah's attorneys say their client was insane at the time of the killing and should be sent to a mental hospital -- not convicted of murder. Experts who examined Abdullah were divided on the insanity issue. Three said he was sane. Three others say he was insane. Reports filed by the nearly one dozen psychologists and psychiatrists who have examined Abdullah over the years portray a man with delusional fears who feels abandoned by the world. Abdullah also appears to be haunted by a birthmark on his left foot, which he refers to as the "permanent marker ink" – which he blames it for Telen's death. Abdullah shuttled between the Fresno County Jail and mental hospitals as judges ruled him competent to stand trial, then incompetent, then competent again, and incompetent once more. Finally, last June, doctors again found him competent to stand trial. In the year after his arrest, Abdullah often acted oddly in court, once chanting loudly in a foreign language and later interrupting a judge with sexually explicit outbursts. At one point, Abdullah went mute for a month. In September 2006, 467 people were called as potential jurors to serve on Abdullah's scheduled trial. But just as the jury was being selected, defense attorney Pete Jones raised questions about his client's competency. Abdullah was re-evaluated, deemed incompetent and sent back to a hospital. Jones declined to comment this month on whether he might again raise questions about Abdullah's competency. According to a report by psychologist Harold Seymour, Abdullah grew up in Binghamton, N.Y., and dropped out of college after 11/2 years. He was the third oldest of 11 boys and five girls. The report said that when Abdullah was a child, he was molested by a family friend. Prior to his arrest, he did not have a criminal record. Seymour's report said that in 2000, Abdullah started exhibiting signs of mental illness. A year later, he became increasingly obsessed with his Muslim religious beliefs, insisting that his family "only listen to certain types of spiritual music or watch only certain types of television shows." Most experts -- including prosecution experts -- who examined Abdullah and were scheduled to testify during the trial agreed that Abdullah was either schizophrenic or in the early stages of schizophrenia at the time of the killing. In one interview, Abdullah told a psychologist that he hears "echoes and clanging" and "I see things coming out of the wall." Subsequent History: On October 20, 2008, Judge Ralph Nunez sentenced 27-year-old Ramadan Abdullah to life in prison without parole. Nunez ordered Abdullah to serve three consecutive sentences: The first will be 43 years and four months in prison, followed by a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, followed by a third sentence of life without parole. In the end, the sentence means one thing: Abdullah will never get out of prison. But noting that Abdullah is a "very ill man" who still suffers from schizophrenia, the judge recommended that Abdullah serve at least some of his time in a mental health facility. Prior History: For years, Ramadan Abdullah's case wound its way through the court system as judges, doctors and attorneys tried to determine whether he was competent to stand trial. The case finally went to trial in March 2008. Defense attorneys acknowledged that Abdullah killed Erik Telen, but they said he was delusional at the time and should be found guilty of second-degree murder. Defense attorney Pete Jones said Abdullah shot Telen because he thought people from the Islamic camp were trying to kill him. Prosecutors said that even though Abdullah suffered from the beginning stages of schizophrenia, there was no evidence he was delusional. After a monthlong trial, the case went to the jury. But when jurors were hopelessly divided, Nunez was forced to declare a mistrial. The District Attorney's Office initially had pursued the death penalty against Abdullah, but last month prosecutors agreed not to seek capital punishment after defense attorneys pledged not to pursue an insanity defense. Instead of a retrial, the case returned to Nunez, who found Abdullah guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstances. Jones argued that Nunez's sentence violated the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment because the severity of the sentence did not match the crime. There was no explanation for why Abdullah shot Telen other than "irrational fears rooted in an emerging mental illness," Jones said. But Nunez rejected the argument, saying that although Abdullah suffered from the early stages of schizophrenia in 2001, he was not delusional when he shot Telen.

Source Of Information: Fresno Bee, 8/8/07, 3/26/08, 3/27/08, 4/4/08, 4/9/08, 4/18/08, 4/15/08, 4/22/08, 4/23/08, 5/13/08, 9/11/08, 10/20/08; KMPH.com (Fresno), 4/10/08

 

RecordID: 4684

Date: 1/2008

Location: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA

Summary: On January 28, 2008, New Orleans Police Officer Nicola Cotton stopped Bernel Johnson to question him at a strip of stores in Central City. Minutes later, the 24-year-old officer was in a fight for her life. Police who viewed surveillance videos say that when she tried to handcuff Mr. Johnson, who is twice her size, he pushed her away. When she gestured for him to come to her, police said, he attacked her. In the ensuing struggle, he grabbed her weapon and shot her multiple times, police said. It's unclear exactly why Officer Cotton stopped at Earhart Boulevard and Simon Bolivar Avenue. Police said there was a complaint of a suspicious person, possibly with a history of sexual assault. Mr. Johnson's family said that he is mentally ill and delusional -- a paranoid schizophrenic. They say that his run-ins with the law have been limited to arrests for vagrancy, disturbing the peace and assault and battery. Subsequent History: Bernel P. Johnson, 44, who shot Nicola Cotton, 24, a police officer, had recently been sent to a state mental institution, to be confined until he was no longer a danger to himself or others. Three weeks before the incident, on January 4, the police “observed him to be mentally ill and dangerous to others,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the chief deputy coroner, who signed the papers committing Mr. Johnson to involuntary treatment. He was sent to a state mental institution, to be confined until he was no longer a danger to himself or others. Somehow, for reasons that remain unclear, the institution released him before the shooting. Because of privacy laws, state officials are not saying which institution it was, or how the decision was made. Subsequent History: On April 22, 2008, Judge Julian Parker ruled that Bernel Johnson could not competently assist in his own defense and had to be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment. Johnson, 44, was to be sent to the state forensic mental hospital in Jackson where doctors would evaluate him and attempt to improve his psychiatric condition enough for him to stand trial in the death of New Orleans police officer Nicola Cotton who was shot with her own gun in late January after a struggle in a Central City parking lot. Parker ordered that Johnson be immediately transferred to the hospital after the testimony of three specialists, who all concluded that Johnson suffers from a psychiatric disorder that impaired his ability to stand trial. After Johnson was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder, several family members described him as a promising student and artist who graduated from St. Augustine High School. But he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 19 and has spent most of his life in and out of mental health institutions, they said. Charles Vosburg, a forensic psychologist, and Dr. Michelle Garriga, a forensic psychiatrist, said they tried to interview Johnson to determine his competency, but found him largely unwilling to answer questions. Johnson previously had been diagnosed as having either schizoaffective disorder or paranoid schizophrenia, said Garriga, who has had some access to Johnson's medical records. Dr. Sarah DeLand, a forensic psychiatrist hired by the defense team, testified that she believed Johnson suffers from either schizoaffective disorder, a bipolar condition or paranoid schizophrenia.

Source Of Information: WDSU TV, 1/29/08; Times Picayune, 1/30/08, 1/31/08, 2/12/08, 4/22/08, 4/23/08, 1/28/09; Gadsden Times, 1/31/08

 

RecordID: 4821

Date: 6/2008

Location: Tucson, Pima, AZ

Summary: On June 1, 2008, David Nickolas "Nick" Delich, 25, shot at his neighbor's house and then loaded up his red Mustang convertible, intending to drive to Texas, his home state. When Officer Erik Hite, 43, approached him at a downward slope, Delich said, a shot intended to go over Hite's head instead struck him. Hite died the next day. Delich denied leaving his car to ambush Hite, as Tucson police Chief Richard Miranda has said. "I was in the car the whole time," Delich said. Delich said he was unaware anyone was wounded during the chase, which ended when he surrendered to deputies on the Mount Lemmon Highway after calming down. Delich was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault after he allegedly led police officers and deputies on a crosstown chase, resulting in Hite's death and the wounding of two deputies. Delich said he had "felt threatened" by his neighbor. "He moved in and apparently for no reason he watched me and would copy everything I did," Delich said. "The way I pull up blinds, the way I open my windows on cool nights, even the way I would sit in my backyard." Delich said he remembers "bits and pieces" of June 1. "I know I wasn't feeling like myself," said Delich, who described his usual demeanor as "calm and relaxed, (with) no anxiety." "I'm not a violent person," he said. "I was very upset that day and I made some bad choices. "I regret what I did. I shouldn't have done it." Nick Delich said he was told he has a bipolar disorder, which is marked by extreme mood swings. "But I don't think I'm bipolar. I don't think I have any mental illness, but it's hard for people to judge themselves," Delich said. Subsequen History: In September 2009, Judge John Leonardo ruled that although David "Nick" Delich, 26, is mentally ill, he understands the proceedings against him and is able to assist his defense attorneys. Leonardo issued his ruling after hearing testimony from five doctors over six days and listening to arguments from attorneys on both sides of the issue. Dr. James Missett, a California psychiatrist who testified on behalf of the defense, met with Delich for eight hours over three days. He testified that Delich has schizophrenia and auditory hallucinations, but he doesn't believe himself to be mentally ill. Although doctors originally diagnosed Delich as mentally ill when he was in his early 20s, there is evidence that he was having mental-health issues as early as 8 or 10 years old, Missett said.

Source Of Information: Tucson Citizen, 6/10/08, 11/25/08; Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/09

 

RecordID: 4892

Date: 9/2008

Location: Alger, Skagit, WA

Summary: On September 2, 2008, 28-year-old Isaac Zamora shot and killed a sheriff's deputy and five other people, and wounded two more, during a shooting rampage near his rural home and a high-speed chase along Interstate 5. Zamora was arrested after turning himself in to the county sheriff's office. Zamora has a criminal record and a history of mental problems and had been living in the woods. He ended the violent rampage and ensuing high-speed chase when he turned himself in at the Skagit County Sheriff's Office. Anne Jackson, a 40-year-old Skagit County sheriff's deputy, was the only slain victim identified by authorities on the day of the incident. Dennise Zamora, the suspect's mother, said her son was "extremely mentally ill" and had been living in the woods on and off for years. She said Jackson was aware of her son's illness and told the Zamora family to call her anytime for help. The incident began after Dennise Zamora called deputies after watching her son walk in and out of neighbors' homes. She said her son wasn't aware of his mental illnesses. Dennise Zamora said her son had struggled with mental illness since their family's house burned down more than a decade ago. She said he was "agreeable" and "placid" that morning and that she didn't know what made him snap. She also said she didn't know where he got the gun used in the shootings. Isaac Zamora is suspected of starting the shooting spree in a small cluster of homes along a gravel road near Alger. After killing Jackson and four others in the rural neighborhood, Zamora drove away and shot and wounded a motorcyclist and State Patrol trooper Troy Giddings, 42, authorities said. He also shot and killed another man in a vehicle on a nearby stretch of southbound Interstate 5, they said. Two other people were injured, but police didn't provide details. Zamora was under state supervision and considered a high-risk offender, with convictions for theft and drug possession. While Zamora was regarded as a nonviolent offender, he was supervised at a high level because of his long-standing mental-health issues, according to DOC records. Zamora last reported to his probation officer in Mount Vernon on August 21. In a news release, DOC Secretary Eldon Vail said Zamora had been released from jail during the first week of August. He had been serving time for felony drug possession, according to court records. After his release, Zamora had reported to his community corrections officer twice as instructed, DOC said. A urine analysis indicated no drug or alcohol consumption. According to reports, over the past decade, Zamora showed increasing signs of serious mental illness, ranging from suicide attempts to auditory hallucinations, from smashed windshields to outright threats. He racked up dozens of criminal charges, and while none of them were particularly violent offenses, they were enough for him to draw extra scrutiny from the state Department of Corrections, which supervised him in the community under a special program for offenders with mental illness. Meanwhile, those who know Zamora best say that for years he was left wanting for the psychiatric help he so obviously needed. His mother, Dennise, said that despite his family's urging, Zamora wouldn't agree to ongoing mental-health treatment, and the law prevented them from forcing it on the 28-year-old. Zamora was diagnosed over the years with both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Over the years, said Dennise Zamora, the family tried everything they could think of to get him to agree to ongoing treatment. "We've all tried to influence him, to threaten him," she said. And Zamora's troubles with the law continued: malicious mischief, drugs, theft. Subsequent History: The Skagit Valley Herald reported it received an unauthorized copy of a letter dated January 8, 2010 written by two psychiatrists treating Isaac Zamora at Western State Hospital. In it, the psychiatrists say Zamora is severely psychopathic, poses a great danger, but that he is not mentally ill. The letter also contradicts the argument offered in court that Zamora suffers from schizophrenia. The psychiatrists say Zamora has bragged about killing six people and has shown threatening behavior that makes him a risk to other patients, staff and the public. Skagit County deputy prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula said the letter's intent is to help Western State Hospital avoid having to pay for Zamora's care. An internal investigation at the hospital was launched after the letter leaked and a state probe of possible violation of federal patient privacy rules. The letter was a draft meant for internal purposes, and it was not ready to be released to the court or the public, said Richard Kellogg, director of mental health systems in the state health department. It was not clear who the original recipient of the letter was, the newspaper said. Prior History: Zamora was sentenced in November 2009 to spend life confinement at a mental hospital, with a chance he may do so in prison if found mentally fit. He had reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, pleading guilty to 18 charges, including four murders, but not guilty on two murder charges for reason of insanity.

Source Of Information: Seattle Times, 9/3/08, 9/4/08, 9/5/08, 1/23/10; Seattle Post Intelligencer, 9/4/08, 9/5/08; Associated Press, 9/5/08; Bellingham Herald, 3/11/09

 

RecordID: 5441

Date: 8/2010

Location: Jackson, Hinds, MS

Summary: On August 6, 2010, 24-year-old Latwan Dupree Smith killed 31-year-old Jackson Police Department Officer Glen Agee with Agee’s weapon as the two struggled in five feet of water in a drainage canal off Mississippi 18 less than a mile from the Hinds County Detention Center. Smith was captured a short time later by Hinds County Sheriff’s deputies in a multi-jurisdiction manhunt. Agee was shot once in the face and laid in the water for some time before he was found. Agee’s fellow officers had circled around in their patrol cars while Agee pursued on foot in an attempt to cut off Smith’s escape route. Smith escaped from a patrol car after complaining that he could not breathe and asked the officers to lower his window. Smith wrestled his cuffed hands from behind his back and opened the patrol car door from the outside. Earlier in the evening, the three officers responded to a domestic violence call and found Smith holding another person at gunpoint. Smith was combative, and the officers decided to take him directly from the scene to the jail in Raymond. Prior History: Smith, has a lengthy history of arrests dating to 2004 for which he was in and out of the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond. Family members said that Smith was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he had a psychiatric evaluation at Hinds Behavioral Health Service in 2009 and last visited the center a week before the shooting.

Source Of Information: Clarionledger.com, 8/7/10; WLBT3, 8/11/10; Clarion Ledger, 8/16/10

 

RecordID: 5550

Date: 1/2011

Location: Rainier, Columbia, OR

Summary: On January 5, 2011, 55-year-old Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter was fatally shot by 21-year-old Daniel Armaugh Butts as he tried to stop Butts n from stealing a car at a West Rainier stereo shop. Painter responded to reports that a man was trying to steal a car there. A struggle ensued and Butts somehow managed to get Painter’s gun and shoot him in the head. Police then opened fire on Butts of Kalama, who remained in the stereo store and refused to surrender. Butts was shot during the incident before he surrendered. During the altercation, stray bullets shot through a window at the nearby Rainier Assembly of God Church, nearly hitting the congregation's pastor. Over 20 law enforcement vehicles from three counties responded to the scene. Subsequent History: During a February 9, 2011 hearing, Daniel Butts’ attorney said his client was "floridly psychotic" and unable to assist in his own defense. The judge agreed and sent the Butts to the Oregon State Hospital for a mental evaluation. The defense attorney said his client was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. According to family and friends, Butts had displayed increasingly erratic behavior in the weeks before the encounter with Painter.

Source Of Information: TDN.com, 1/5/11; OregonLive.com, 1/21/11, 2/9/11; The Oregonian, 6/22/11

 

RecordID: 5581

Date: 4/2011

Location: Sigourney, Keokuk, IA

Summary: On April 4, 2011, 53-year-old Jeffrey Alan Krier fatally shot 38-year-old Keokuk County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Stein. The Iowa State Patrol Tactical Unit fatally shot Krier after a three-hour standoff following Stein’s death. The incident began when Krier opened fire on three Keokuk County sheriff's officers as they approached his home killing Stein. The other officers weren't injured. The Iowa Department of Public Safety said that the officers had gone to the house because of an unspecified incident that reportedly occurred the night before. According to his family, Krier, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder over 30 years ago, had been hospitalized after police took him into custody on March 3. While he was in the hospital in Des Moines, the county tried but was unable to obtain an involuntary commitment resulting in Krier’s release. Prior History: Krier had not worked in 15 years because of his mental illness and lived with his parents, until they went to a nursing home in March. Krier’s parents took responsibility for him following a rash of arrests in the mid-1990s including charges of carrying weapons, stalking, assault and drunken driving. He was found not guilty of many of the charges by reason of insanity.

Source Of Information: Eastern Iowa News Now, 4/5/11; The Muscatine Journal, 4/6/11; wcfcourier.com, 4/6/11; Des Moines Register, 4/8/11, 4/12/11, 5/9/11

 

RecordID: 5597

Date: 4/2011

Location: New Boston, Bowie, TX

Summary: On April 18, 2011, 21-year-old Tucker Strickland fatally shot 54-year-old Bowie County Deputy Sherri Jones in the basement of the county courthouse. Jones was escorting Strickland to the van for transfer back to a state facility where he was confined when Strickland overpowered her, grabbed her pistol, shot her and fled in the van. Subsequently, Arkansas authorities found Strickland and the van in Ashdown, AK, about 30 miles northeast of New Boston. Strickland had been at a hearing to address his non-compliance with medication at Rusk State Hospital. Prior History: In November 20110, a Bowie County grand jury had indicted Strickland in on a count of assault with bodily injury in family violence. A pscyhological evaluation concluded he was incompetent to stand trial. Subsequent History: On April 2011, Tucker Strickland was transferred to Parker County Jail for his own protection and to protect the Bowie County Sheriff's Office from any accusations of foul play. Strickland’s family members expressed concern about his treatment and welfare while in custody.

Source Of Information: MSNBC.com, 4/18/11; TodaysTHV.com, 4/18/11; KSLA News 12, 4/21/11

 

RecordID: 5600

Date: 4/2011

Location: Eugene, Lane, OR

Summary: On April 22, 2011, 56-year-old Cheryl Dawn Kidd fatally shot 43-year-old Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen during a traffic stop. According to police, Kidd confessed to killing Kilcullen. Witnesses reported that the lone occupant of Kidd’s 1998 Buick Skylark shot Kilcullen from the driver’s window as he pulled up next to the car, still on his motorcycle. Kilcullen was wearing a protective vest, but the bullet entered the right side of his torso just above it. The car fled the scene and Springfield police gave chase which ended 35 miles later at a dead-end logging road. According to Kidd’s brother, she was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 19. Subsequent History: On June 6, 2011, a judge ruled that Kidd was too mentally ill to stand trial and would be taken to the Oregon State Hospital for treatment until she was deemed fit to proceed. Kidd was transported to the hospital for up to three years of treatment that might allow her to aid and assist in her defense against an aggravated murder charge.

Source Of Information: OregonLive.com, 4/25/11; The Register Guard, 4/26/11, 6/8/11, 6/12/11

 

RecordID: 5613

Date: 5/2011

Location: NA, Lowndes, MS

Summary: On May 9, 2011, 44-year-old John Rogers Montgomery was fatally shot during a fire fight with Lowndes County deputies. Montgomery, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, had been off of his anti-psychotic medicine since December. The incident began on May 8 when Montgomery pulled a handgun on a relative who had gone to check on him. The relative called police and when they arrived, he fled into a wooded area and pointed a rifle at them before escaping. Deputies searched until about 7:15 p.m. when they decided to resume the search the next morning. They returned to Montgomery’s home the next morning when they learned he had returned. When they arrived, Montgomery was in the yard armed with a .22-caliber automatic rifle. He again ran for the woods and then stopped to open fire on pursuing pfficers.

Source Of Information: The Dispatch, 5/9/11; WBCI.com, 5/9/11; Beaumont Enterprise, 5/11/11

 

RecordID: 5648

Date: 6/2011

Location: Albany Township, Berks, PA

Summary: On June 29, 2011, Matthew M. Connor fatally shot a Berks County Deputy Kyle D. Pagerly near Connor’s family home before he was fatally shot by police. Pagerly had arrived with state police, U.S. marshals and other deputies to serve a warrant and take him into custody. Maurice Connor said his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and related disorders and struggled with mental illness almost all his life. He said Matthew was too disruptive to live in the house so he slept in a van and a tent in the nearby woods. Matthew spent most of his time outdoors, but stopped in the house to cook meals. Prior History: On June 27, Matthew threatened to kill his father, his 17-year-old sister, and a guest, repeatedly firing a handgun into the ground in front of them before putting the gun into his mouth. The warrant Pagerly was serving was related to that incident. Connor’s father said he and his wife tried hard to help their son for many years, urging him to get help and paying for his therapy, but nothing worked.

 


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