- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Kristie Sampson-Kilcullen said her 7-year-old daughter, Katie, cries when she hears little girls say “daddy” in the grocery store.

Katie wonders why her father doesn’t come home anymore. She tells her mom she wants an “Earth-daddy,” not a “heaven-daddy.”

Sampson-Kilcullen described to the state Psychiatric Security Review Board on Wednesday how her life changed when her husband, Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen, was fatally shot during an attempted traffic stop in April 2011.

She showed photos of Katie and Kilcullen together to the board and to her husband’s alleged killer, Cheryl Dawn Kidd, during a 90-minute hearing at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. Kidd, 60, has been held at the hospital since she was accused of shooting and killing Kilcullen after a high-speed chase through Springfield.

Katie, who was 4 years old when her father died, told her mother before the hearing that she is mad at Kidd. She said she wants Kidd to apologize.

“I am so sad,” the 7-year-old said.

The state psychiatric board decided to have Kidd mentally evaluated to determine whether she could be admitted to Pendleton Cottage, a state-run 16-bed secured residence in Pendleton for people who have entered state custody after being found guilty of crimes except for reason of insanity. The facility opened in 2009.

An average mental health evaluation typically takes about 45 days, officials said.

Kidd, who was wearing navy blue pants and matching navy shirt, walked with the aid of a walker. She did not speak during the hearing.

The appearance was Kidd’s first before the state board since she was placed under its authority six months ago. It was also the first time Kilcullen’s family members were able to speak to Kidd.

Before showing Kidd photos of Kilcullen, Sampson-Kilcullen said that she wanted Kidd to see “what she ruined.”

“You’re more than a patient,” Sampson-Kilcullen told Kidd, looking at her. “You are a murderer.”

She paused.

“A murderer.”

The aggravated murder charge against Kidd was dismissed in November because a Lane County Circuit Court judge found she was too mentally ill to face trial.

Kidd reportedly has had psychiatric problems since the 1970s and was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1990. After her arrest, her attorney filed documents in court that said she suffered from extreme paranoid delusions.

Lane County Deputy District Attorney David Schwartz said on Wednesday that Kidd is still not prosecutable because of her mental state.

Kidd’s attorneys, Harris Matarazzo and Gordon Mallon, both Portland-area defense lawyers, said Kidd “still suffers from a mental disorder that is resistant to treatment and is still extremely dangerous.”

Until Kidd is evaluated by Pendleton Cottage, and until lawyers come up with a release plan, Matarazzo said Kidd should remain at the hospital under the state psychiatric board’s authority.

If Pendleton Cottage accepts Kidd, the board will have another hearing to decide whether to conditionally release Kidd from the hospital, board member Kate Lieber said.

Matarazzo said Kidd has had more freedom to spend time in certain areas of the hospital because of her good behavior. He said she has had several evaluations by hospital staff, and shown improvements.

Kidd would still be closely monitored and held in a secure facility, should the board decide to release her to Pendleton Cottage.

“She’s not going to be out and forgotten about,” Matarazzo said.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Matarazzo said Kidd asked the hospital to give to the Kilcullen family the St. Christopher medal that she keeps with her.

Several of Kilcullen’s family members and Eugene police Chief Pete Kerns told the board that they fear Kidd would pose a threat to other communities if she was released from the hospital.

“There is going to be the day that she doesn’t take her meds and she snaps again,” Kilcullen’s cousin, Kristi Goad, said to the board.

District Attorney Schwartz said hundreds of people have written to the board, urging that it keep Kidd in state custody at the Salem hospital.

A state law passed last year, at the request of the Kilcullen family working with state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, makes it easier for the state to keep dangerous offenders who are mentally ill in custody, even if they cannot be prosecuted. For example, custody hearings are now generally held every two years instead of every six months, but the law leaves key decisions about dangerousness and potential release to the Psychiatric Security Review Board rather than to a court.

The law allowed Kidd to be kept in state custody. Schwartz said he believes it is the first time the law has been used.

Along with Sampson-Kilcullen and Goad, Kilcullen’s father, stepfather and sister all asked the board on Wednesday to keep Kidd at the state hospital.

“Please put this murderer away,” Kilcullen’s younger sister, Colby Kilcullen, said. “She took away a life. Don’t give her the opportunity to do it again.”


Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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