GASTONIA, N.C. — Dillon Ledford is not mentally match to stand trial, but his lawyer says that is what’s maintaining him in jail and not the actual alleged crime.
Attorneys inform us they’re seeing circumstances like this typically, when people today who should really be in a mental overall health facility are in jail as an alternative.
On Thursday, Channel 9′s Gaston County Reporter Ken Lemon was in court as Ledford’s lawyer produced a final-ditch work to get him out.
Veronika Monteleone, his lawyer, mentioned in a excellent globe, he would be acquiring qualified enable in a facility. Rather, he’s nonetheless in jail, refusing to take medication or get enable, and exhibiting some of the exact same challenges that landed him in jail.
So in court, Monteleone stood ahead of a judge with a request for dismissal. She knew it was a extended shot.
“I was at a loss as to what else I can do,” Monteleone told Lemon.
She says it seems that Ledford believed he was saving lives when he referred to as 911 final June, claiming there was a bomb at Bessemer City Higher College.
4 months ago, prosecutors and the defense had Ledford evaluated and decided he is not mentally prepared for trial. The state hospital hasn’t had a bed for him, having said that, and he’s refused therapy in jail. He does have a correct to refuse therapy.
The prosecutor in the case has mentioned they cannot just let him out of jail, and the judge agreed.
“This is a grave concern for the state simply because we not only have to safeguard him, we have to safeguard our citizens,” mentioned prosecutor Stephanie Hamlin.
Ledford’s lawyer says if he didn’t have these challenges, he would’ve been sentenced for the alleged bomb threat extended ago.
“If he was located guilty and offered the worst sentence he could for his record, he would currently be out of prison,” Monteleone mentioned.
The law says that Ledford can be held in jail for 39 months without the need of it becoming regarded a violation of his rights.
“He could be held for the max quantity of time as although he had the worst record feasible for the crime that he is charged with,” mentioned Monteleone.
Monteleone told Lemon she cannot say if the blame lies with the courts, the overcrowded mental overall health facilities, or the jail. She just feels that it is not correct.
“We cannot just overlook about these people today, and that is what’s taking place,” Monteleone mentioned.
She mentioned Ledford’s case is dramatic, but everybody in the public defender’s workplace is dealing with mental overall health circumstances day-to-day. Quite a few of these circumstances are waiting for beds or mental overall health evaluations that slow the justice method.
Ledford’s mental overall health evaluations say that he could at some point be declared match to stand trial immediately after therapy, the judge in the case mentioned.
There is enable readily available for these with mental overall health issues, and Channel 9 has a county-by-county resource guide readily available at this hyperlink.
(WATCH: Charlotte lady operates to expand access to mental overall health sources)
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