Why was suspected killer released from mental health facility? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Why was suspected killer released from mental health facility?

James House III James House III
Ida Martin Ida Martin

By Regina Russo - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A man suspected of murdering a 93-year-old woman spent 10 years in a mental health facility after he was accused of attempted murder in 1999 and found not guilty by reason of insanity.

James House III is accused of stabbing Ida Martin, 93, to death earlier this week while she was out for a walk outside of her Roselawn Apartment.

The community and Martin's family is wondering why House was released from the Summit Behavioral Healthcare Center, which is not far from Martin's apartment.

"I don't know how it was assessed to let this person go to commit another crime," said Rev. Nate Mobley with the Powerhouse Deliverance Center.

"We have good after-care plans in place, we work with the community, so when there's a handoff with patients, it's not just a discharge and you're on your own," said Liz Banks, CEO of Summit.

You can't come to the facility voluntarily, and you can't leave that way, either. Four layers of evaluation must agree to a condition release based on the need to take medication, avoid substance abuse and the need to see a psychologist or a therapist.

Case managers work with the clients to keep tabs on compliance. However, in the majority of cases, Dr. Ryan Pierson, the Director of Forensic Sciences at Summit, says most people are likely more dangerous to themselves than they are to others.

"The literature tells us, and we've known this for a long time, that the incidents of violence in general population is no different than incidents of violence in those who have mental illness," said Pierson.

Banks says when assessing an individual's progress towards release, the safety aspect for the community is always part of the plan.

There are about 284 men and women who receive treatment at Summit. The center says it's overall goal is get clients to recovery, and have the ability to move to a less restrictive environment.


Previously:

93-year-old woman murdered in Roselawn
UPDATE: Bond set for murder suspect

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