WPTZ just had a live broadcast from the arraignment of Christopher Williams, who shot two teachers at Essex Town Elementary School yesterday, killing one, after killing the mother of his estranged girlfriend in her home.
Judge Cashman, yes that Judge Cashman, sent Williams to the state hospital over strong objections from the state prosecutor over the safety of placing this violent and dangerous man in such a low security establishment.
During the hearing that ensued, a social worker from the Howard Center said that Williams was suicidal. This was based on a 35 minute interview, where Williams claimed to not remember what happened, even though he had admitted it to police prior to the interview. This information was not known to the social worker and she did not take it into account after being given this information at the hearing.
The state prosecutor again stressed that the state hospital did not have enough security and placing Williams there would put the other people there in danger. The judge was concerned about Williams’ risk of suicide, even though he can be evaluated and watched at the correctional facility, as the prosecutor pointed out. His understanding is that Williams will be returned to a correctional facility if he turns out to be a security risk.
What I want to know is why we give a flying you-know-what about whether or not scumbags like this off themselves. He did just kill a teacher the week before school starts for crying out loud.
Let’s get this straight: A terminally ill person, who is depressed and doesn’t want to burden his family should have help in committing suicide, but someone who just killed two people and wounded two others, sending shock waves through a community, needs to be carefully watched so that he doesn’t take his own life, even if it puts innocent people at risk? Got it.
The worst case scenario if they put him in the correctional facility: He kills himself, the victims’ families and the living victims are spared the pain of a trial, and the tax payers don’t have the expense of a trial and incarceration.
What’s the worst case scenario if he goes to the state hospital and it turns out to not have enough security?
Update: Yet one more reason why it was sheer stupidity to place this guy in the state hospital instead of the correctional facility, which has tighter security: his “rather extensive” criminal record from Massachusetts includes “escape from custody.” (Source: BFP, Hat tip: Alphecca)