Should Milton Hall have been put in psychiatric care? - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Should Milton Hall have been put in psychiatric care?

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(07/11/12) - There are new questions Wednesday in a Saginaw Police shooting that left a homeless man dead.

This as Michigan State police continue their investigation into whether the shooting of Milton Hall was justified or excessive force.

Hall was shot and killed July 1 in the parking lot of the Riverview Plaza.

ABC12 has learned police shot at Hall 46 times. Six officers were involved.

They say they shot because Hall was holding a knife and acting aggressively.

Those officers are now on paid administrative leave.

Now, questions are coming out as to whether Hall should have been in that parking lot in the first place.

Or should he have been in a hospital under psychiatric care.

Milton Hall had been diagnosed by doctors as a schizophrenic, having a psychotic disorder, and was treated for years because of his mental illness.

So why was he released from jail in May, when a number of people thought he was a danger to himself and others?

These are Saginaw County Probate Court filings on Milton Hall. Since 1998, 12 petitions for psychiatric hospitalization were filed in efforts by various people to get Hall help. Reasons for those petitions range from threats Hall made to people - failing to take his medication - claims he wouldn't bathe and one that states he was eating grass. Hall had been admitted in to the Caro Center, a psychiatric care facility at least three times. His last stay was four years ago in 2008.

In November of last year, Hall was arrested by Saginaw Police, charged with three misdemeanor counts, including assault and battery. ABC12 News has obtained court transcripts from a court proceeding that took place on Feb. 8 of this year, where Hall tells District Court Judge Terry Clark that he wanted a new attorney, saying "I want to be released, that's it, I want you to let me out of jail, dude."

Judge Clark sent Hall back to jail and at a pretrial hearing nearly two months later, his new attorney, Timothy Lynch, told Judge Clark "that we would like to get a petition for a forensic referral and possible hospitalization."

Hall was not present at the hearing because of unruly behavior in previous court proceedings.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Demond Tibbs tells Judge Clark "there's someone saying that he's not being released (from jail) because he's a threat to the community." Being a threat to himself or others would be a reason for having Hall hospitalized.

But an employee with Corizon Mental Health, the company that contracts with the Saginaw County Jail for mental health services, didn't believe there was enough evidence to hospitalize Hall. In the transcripts, Judge Clark says "I don't understand it. I'm just amazed that they haven't done that petition to get him out of jail. He's been sitting in jail and I would venture to say he is getting worse, just sitting there, I mean he's getting worse, not better."

A jail employee told Judge Clark, Hall had been in isolation since he was jail on Nov. 13.

Efforts to get the mental health employee to testify on why she would not request a petition for hospitalization were not successful, and with no petition, the criminal charges against Hall were dismissed and he walked out of the Saginaw County Jail on May 15. A month and a half later, Hall walked into a gas station in Saginaw, where he spit on a clerk, leading up to his deadly confrontation with police.

We tried to get in contact with that mental health employee who was not convinced that Hall needed to be hospitalized.

We were told that she no longer worked at the Saginaw County Jail.

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