HomeTop StoriesJudge asked for forced treatment of suspect in death of neighbor Okeana

Judge asked for forced treatment of suspect in death of neighbor Okeana

Aug 5 – HAMILTON – Butler County prosecutors want a judge to step in and authorize doctors to forcibly administer drugs to a Morgan Twp. man accused of shooting and killing his neighbor. The suspect is undergoing treatment for recovery of fitness to stand trial.

The defense team opposes the move, arguing that doctors at Summit Behavioral Health in Cincinnati have a large list of drugs they want approved, some of which may have side effects, and that they are unsure of Austin Combs’ diagnosis.

Combs, 27, was arrested just hours after the fatal shooting on November 5, 2022, and charged with aggravated murder a week later.

Anthony Lee King, 43, died of multiple gunshot wounds in his yard next to Combs’ residence. According to investigators, King was doing yard work at the time he was shot.

In March, Judge Michael Oster Jr. of the Butler County Common Pleas Court Combs incapacitated to stand trial after reviewing evaluations of two forensic psychologists. He was considered recoverable with treatment. According to the law, the court has one year to make a suspect competent again.

Incompetent for trial means that the accused does not understand the charges and procedures and cannot assist in his own defense.

See also  Minnesota man rushes into burning house to save those inside: 'God put me in this position for a reason'

Oster ordered Combs to be treated at the Hamilton County facility.

Combs arrived at Summit in May and exhibited different behavior both during and out of treatment, but in late June he began refusing to take medication and in July he faces charges of assaulting an employee at the facility, according to prosecutors and court records.

The felony charge against Combs involving the worker is pending in Hamilton County.

On Thursday, Combs faced the court hearing to enforce his drug treatment. Combs was pale, very thin, and looked out the courtroom window for much of the three-hour hearing.

Psychiatrist dr. Jarrod Warren, who treats Combs at Summit, testified that when Combs entered the facility, they did not observe any expected “rude” behavior with mental illness, given his history of mental health problems as an adolescent.

“He was polite and cooperative,” Warren said, adding that because of previous mental health diagnoses, they expected him to exhibit more of those behaviors. “We were trying to understand what was actually going on with him.”

Four weeks later, Warren said Combs’ meal intake had “diminished”, he had staring spells and was not receptive to anyone. At one point, he was found on the floor with a sheet wrapped around his neck.

See also  Richmond firefighters say chief 'unfit' for position; no confidence vote unanimous

When the facility started a plan to keep him safe, Warren said Combs attacked the person who was watching him.

Combs was taken to UC Medical Center to determine if anything was physically wrong, and nothing was found.

“We determined that his behavior stemmed from a mental illness,” Warren said, then they believed catatonia was part of a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Combs was treated with Ativan and it helped, Warren said. Combs came out of his room and ate.

When Combs started refusing medication, things got worse for him, according to the doctor. He has been given multiple chances for those drugs, but refuses.

“He’s worse,” Warren said. “He got better, he got worse,” Warren said. “I feel (if he is not medicated) that he would end up in the hospital. I am currently most concerned about his food and water intake.”

Combs’ attorney, Chris Pagan, pointed to the long list of drugs the institution wants the court to approve for forced treatment and the multiple diagnosis of Combs’ mental state. He noted that many have serious side effects.

Warren said all the drugs would not be used for treatment, but they did not want to go back to court for an additional hearing on the use of individual drugs.

See also  Crews begin removing the plane from the forest preserve in Elk Grove Village after the crash

Pagan said having a “firm” diagnosis would be best before asking for “forced medical treatment.”

The defense attorney pointed to the Combs’ many diagnoses over the years and several at Summit.

“You want to force mood-altering medication on him,” Pagan said. “(But) you can’t say at this point that he has a mood-altering diagnosis.”

Oster told the lawyers to submit their final arguments in writing by Monday and that he would make a written decision.

The judge’s ruling is a final appealable order, meaning it can be appealed directly to the 12th District Court of Appeals before the case moves forward. No trial date has been set.

Unless Combs agrees to take his medication, Summit staff cannot treat him at this time.

Prosecutors say Combs stabbed his father in 2017. Assistant District Attorney Katie Pridemore stated that while Combs was not convicted of assaulting his father, when questioned with police he admitted to the incident, and his father confirmed.

According to detectives from Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Combs admitted to shooting King “several times with a revolver” in the yard of his residence on Chapel Road.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments