- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A judge is deciding what to do about a 66-year-old man who in 1992 attempted to shoot at students in a college classroom in Lincoln.

Dr. Klaus Hartmann told Lancaster County District Judge Paul Merritt Jr. at an annual review hearing Wednesday that Arthur McElroy is still mentally ill, but also so afflicted with physical ills that he doesn’t pose a threat. McElroy is currently being held at Lincoln Regional Center.

McElroy was charged and tried for attempted second-degree murder after he tried to fire a .30-caliber, semi-automatic military carbine into a science class of about 20 students. The gun jammed in the attempt. A judge ruled that McElroy was insane and not responsible for his actions.

Hartmann, who is a psychiatrist at the center, said his t three letters to the judge have indicated that McElroy’s mental and physical needs could be better addressed at another facility. He said that if his condition improves at another facility, then he could be returned to the center.

McElroy, who has been diagnosed with delusional disorder or possibly paranoid schizophrenia, has chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension and gallstones. He undergoes dialysis four times a week, and has needed oxygen in the past. However, regulations prevent the regional center from keeping oxygen at the facility.

The psychiatrist also said that McElroy has been confined to a wheelchair for more than a year.

McElroy’s attorney, public defender Kristi Egger-Brown, says that if Merritt doesn’t release McElroy outright, the judge should have him placed in a nursing home.

But Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Janice Lipvosky maintains that McElroy is still mentally ill and dangerous.

Merritt, who questioned the logistics of ordering someone to go to a privately run nursing home, says he’ll make his ruling next month.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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