May 19, 2013

Close watch kept on patients deemed not criminally responsible

People placed in custody after committing a crime must petition for time away from the hospital.

By BETTY ADAMS Kennebec Journal

(Continued from page 1)

“He has had no unsupervised time since 2005,” Dr. William Nelson testified at Bowie’s most recent hearing. “Just as a precaution, we’ve thought it wise to start off more slowly than with other clients.”

Bowie, who has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and substance abuse disorder in remission, also suffers from anxiety and some obsessive-compulsive and avoidance traits, Nelson testified. Bowie had more privileges six or seven years ago, but they were withdrawn after he attempted suicide, Nelson said.

Music has proved a good therapy for him, doctors said.

“He has exhausted the abilities of guitar instructors at the hospital and practices and plays guitar a couple hours a day,” Nelson said.

When Justice Joyce Wheeler limited Bowie’s unsupervised hour to music lessons or guitar shopping, Dill left the courtroom happy.

“Basically he’s still being supervised for all but one hour, and that is a time he is doing something specific,” Dill said.

RE-ENGAGING WITH FAMILY

In the case of Petrucelly, Russell Kimball, a physician assistant working in psychiatry at Riverview, testified that records show Petrucelly’s psychotic behavior stopped within months of his admission to Riverview in the fall of 2008. He killed his brother in August that year.

But even though the 27-year-old now displays no evidence of psychosis, he continues to have issues with “poor judgment,” Kimball said. A January Riverview report described Petrucelly’s attempt to bring a Satanic Bible to a patient at the hospital, the same patient he earlier supplied with pornographic material.

As a result, the hospital banned Petrucelly from visiting the patient.

Petrucelly has a diagnosis similar to Bowie: schizoaffective disorder, depressed type.

He works out at a local gym and takes meditation classes at a community center, among other activities. Petrucelly’s mental conditions are treated through psychotherapy.

Witnesses assured the judge during a recent hearing that the lack of other mental illness diagnoses is the main reason Petrucelly’s recovery has gone more swiftly than Bowie’s.

Petrucelly’s attorney, Harold Hainke, who also represents Bowie, said the additional hours will allow Petrucelly to “work on re-engaging with his family after all that’s happened to him and his family.

The visits can occur up to twice a month and are supervised by Petrucelly’s mother, who has undergone training by Riverview staff.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

badams@centralmaine.com

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