MANCHESTER — A mentally ill man accused of attacking two Elliot Hospital employees while being held in a locked psychiatric area is incompetent to stand trial, although with treatment he could be restored to competency, a Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.
Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge David A. Garfunkel accepted the recommendation of Dr. Daniel Comiskey, the state's chief forensic examiner, that Ansel Kinglocke, 34, be transferred from the Valley Street Jail and committed to the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the state prison in Concord for treatment of his psychosis.
Kinglocke has been detained on $100,000 bail in the Manchester jail since his arrest on assault charges on July 8. He was evaluated by Comiskey on Sept. 16.
"It is my opinion he is not presently competent to stand trial, but there is a high likelihood he may be restored to competency," Comiskey testified.
He said when he saw Kinglocke on Sept. 16, Kinglocke exhibited paranoia, was guarded and suspicious.
He said Kinglocke had no prior psychiatric events until he experienced an "episode of psychosis" and was brought to the hospital by police on July 8.
Kinglocke, he said, was still suffering from "active symptoms" when he evaluated him more than two months later.
Comiskey did not say exactly what it was Kinglocke suffered from, but said he had a psychotic break and was not treated for it in the three days he was locked inside the hospital psychiatric area waiting for a room at the state hospital in Concord.
He also said Kinglocke refused mental health treatment at the Valley Street Jail.
Comiskey said a mental health defense would be appropriate in Kinglocke's case but at this time, he did not believe Kinglocke understood the consequences of such a defense.
Assistant Hillsborough County Attorneys Michael Valentine and Rose-Marie Balboni agreed with Comiskey's assessment, as did Kinglocke's attorney, Paul J. McDonough.
Kinglocke is accused of attacking two Elliot Hospital employees in the emergency room on July 8. Licensed Nursing Assistant Donald Wyman was hospitalized for weeks at Massachusetts General Hospital after Kinglocke allegedly broke his jaw in four places and knocked out four of his teeth.
Wyman had tried to stop Kinglocke from getting out of the locked unit, police said.
Kinglocke also is accused of punching nursing assistant Melissa Clermont in the face, fracturing her cheekbone, after she found Wyman face down on the floor and Kinglocke with Wyman's employee ID/keycard trying to get out of the locked psychiatric area.
McDonough, a private attorney retained by Kinglocke's family, said after the hearing that his client is not a criminal.
"This is a terrible tragedy for everybody involved," he said. McDonough said he hopes this case and others will shine a light on how mental health is being treated in New Hampshire.
On Oct. 16, another Elliot Hospital psychiatric patient waiting for a room at the state hospital in Concord attacked a security officer before being subdued. Fern Ornelas, 52, was medically cleared, booked at the police station and then taken to the Valley Street jail around midnight.
An ambulance brought him back to the Elliot Hospital the following morning suffering from a broken neck. His family said he is paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak.
The New Hampshire Attorney General as well as the Hillsborough County Attorney are investigating the incident.