- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014
A Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist cleared former Marine Bradley Stone of suicidal or homicidal tendencies just a week before he went on a killing spree, slaying six others and then taking his own life.

Stone, who had been in a child custody battle with his ex-wife, killed her and members of her family Monday. His body was found near his home in Pennsylvania on Tuesday with self-inflicted stab wounds and cuts.

He had a 100 percent disability rating at the VA for post-traumatic stress disorder and had seen his psychiatrist just one week prior to the incident, a VA spokesman told The Washington Times on Wednesday.

“He met with his psychiatrist on December 8th at the Coatesville [Veterans Affairs Medical Center], and the provider noted that at the time of the evaluation, the veteran was without any suicidal or homicidal ideation,” the VA statement said.

A House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs staff member said the committee plans to ask the VA for a “detailed history of any interactions it may have had with Stone,” but declined to comment on the specifics of his case until the committee receives that information.

Just three days before the attack, Stone was at the Veterans Justice Outreach Program in Norristown, Pennsylvania, his final interaction with the VA, the spokesman said.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs expresses our heartfelt condolences to the victims killed in this tragic incident. We are committed to providing the highest quality health care to veterans,” the VA statement said.

Mental health care at the VA came under fire as part of the wait list scandal that broke earlier this year. Investigators found cases of veterans committing suicide while waiting for an appointment with a mental health provider or just after leaving an appointment at the VA.

One patient in Phoenix told a doctor that he was in so much pain he might kill himself, but a request to consult with a suicide prevention coordinator was closed without him getting an appointment, the inspector general report said. The veteran killed himself less than a week later.

Stone had been rated 100 percent disabled since October 2010 and was receiving more than $3,000 a month in benefits, the VA said.

The VA said it is currently conducting a comprehensive review of his care.

Stone joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 2002, according to NBC Philadelphia. He served as an artillery meteorological man, helping to accurately direct artillery fire based on weather.

Stone deployed to Iraq in April 2008 but returned home after serving only two months overseas when his wife experienced health problems, NBC Philadelphia reported.

One week after losing his custody battle, the 35-year-old veteran killed his ex-wife as well as his mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law and 14-year-old niece, The Associated Press reported. Stone’s 17-year-old nephew remains in serious condition, suffering a skull fracture and other serious injuries he reportedly suffered while trying to defend his sister.

• Jacqueline Klimas can be reached at jklimas@washingtontimes.com.

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