Judge orders state to transport guilty but insane inmate from county jail to mental health center
The second of two convicted but insane men who had been waiting for months inside Jackson County Jail for court-ordered psychiatric treatment may soon be transferred to Oregon State Hospital or another facility in care.
On December 3, Jackson County Circuit Court Interim Judge Paul Moser ordered Oregon State Hospital and the Oregon Health Authority to transport Darryl Walker to “an appropriate mental hospital or other appropriate facility in accordance with to the order of Judge (Laura) Cromwell of July 26, 2021, within seven days of the date of this judgment.
Walker, 43, is one of two men held for months in the county jail who were convicted, except for insanity, with court orders for psychiatric treatment as the main component of their conviction.
Walker was ordered to receive psychiatric treatment after he tied up and stabbed a family member while hallucinating that the victim was someone else, someone who kidnapped him as a child, according to a probable cause affidavit created shortly after his arrest. He was arrested for this incident in mid-February.
The other guilty but insane man held for months in prison was Aaron David Whitley, who was convicted in January after attempting to commit carjacking in Ashland in February 2020.
Whitley, 39, spent more than 10 months waiting in county jail to begin court-ordered psychiatric treatment. He was transferred to Oregon State Hospital on November 19, the day before the contempt restitution hearing.
Moser ruled that the remedial contempt case filed on behalf of Whitley and later Walker, by lawyer Alyssa Bartholomew, of Southern Oregon Public Defenders Inc., did not require the state to provide anything. or more to Whitley because they had taken him to the State Hospital. to start treatment. The Oregon Health Authority had also just added two dozen beds for some culprits, except for insane patients in Junction City.
In August, Bartholomew succeeded in having Whitley released from the county jail with the intention that he could wait to be admitted to the public hospital – or other comparable treatment program – from outside the prison. . She also gave the state the option of carrying out the original judge’s order for Whitley to be transferred to the public hospital so that his treatment could begin.
The district attorney’s office managed to overturn that decision and Whitley was returned to jail days later.
Bartholomew has said that for Whitley – and other convicted but foolish state officials who have sat in local jails awaiting psychiatric treatment – the continued postponement of psychiatric treatment not only violates orders for commitment made by the judges of the cases, it is also “constitutionally false that somebody stays in prison so long. It is atrocious. A parody.
Contact reporter Terri Harber at 541-776-4468 or [email protected]