- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A convicted killer finally awaits sentencing after being held for years at a St. Louis jail during the case while medical experts tried to determine if he had a mental illness.

The case of 37-year-old Calvin Brown, who is being held at the St. Louis City Justice Center, highlights how the wheels of justice can slow down when dealing with defendants who may have mental illness, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1IpYH32 ) reported.

Multiple judges, attorneys and medical professionals said that Brown was uncooperative in working on his case. A doctor hired by the defense to determine if Brown was fit to stand trial said in 2010 that Brown refused to talk to him in two separate interviews.

Richard Scott, a forensic examiner with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, said Brown refused to discuss the case with him, eventually prompting Scott to request an in-patient evaluation that led to many more exams and stays for Brown at the Fulton State Hospital. At least once, Brown rolled in feces to avoid showing up in court.

“The defendant could be psychotic or hypomanic or he could be intentionally refusing to cooperate and disrupting the legal process as a way to avoid facing criminal charges,” Scott said.

Brown ultimately was found competent to stand trial in 2013 and was found guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the 2008 death of his grandmother. He’s being held at the St. Louis City Justice Center while he awaits sentencing in August. He faces life in prison without parole.

Plans are being made to create a mental health court in St. Louis by this fall for misdemeanor and some low-level felony crimes. Several mental health organizations are involved with the project and will be similar to specialty courts established for veterans and those addicted to drugs.

Around 16 percent of Missouri inmates receive clinical care or are on medication for medical illness, said Felix Vincenz, associate director of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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