Virginia Senator's Stabbing Sparks Investigation, Call for Mental Health Reform
The tragedy involving Sen. Creigh Deeds and his family has drawn the spotlight to mental health services in Virginia.
And one of Virginia's mental health laws regarding emergency admissions is out of step with similar laws in other states.
When someone is believed to be mentally ill, and possibly poses a risk to themselves or others, the person can be admitted for a psychiatric evaluation and held initially up to 30 hours in Maryland, 48 hours in D.C., but just four to six hours in Virginia.
"We have sort of a Kabuki dance that we make the authorities go through," says Sen. Dick Black, R-Leesburg, a member of the Education and Health Committee.
"You can't get anything done in four to six hours," Black says.
He says he plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming General Assembly session to expand the initial time period for a mental health evaluation to 48 hours.
Deeds was stabbed multiple times in the head and upper torso. His son, Austin "Gus" Deeds was found dead Tuesday morning at the family's Bath County home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sen. Deeds was listed in good condition Wednesday afternoon at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where he was flown after the altercation with his son.
Police have said they are investigating the case as an attempted murder-suicide but have not released details of what led to the stabbing and Gus' death. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported that Deeds sought emergency psychiatric care for his son on Monday but that no hospital beds were immediately available in the rural, mountainous area.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST PUBLIC SAFETY & JUSTICE HEADLINES
3 Massachusetts Justices Step Down in 3 Weeks7 hours ago
Ferguson Rejects Some of DOJ's Proposed Reforms for Cops and Courts8 hours ago
Obama's Climate Change Rules Suffer Supreme Court Setback10 hours ago
Black Lives Matter Activist Kills Himself at Ohio Statehouse11 hours ago
A Month Before Primary, North Carolina Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Resolve Redistricting Battle11 hours ago
A Gun Control That Has Bipartisan Support in Many States1 day ago