Patient is beaten, strangled in fight

  • Follow Metro

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. --- A patient at Central State Hospital was beaten and strangled in his room after an altercation with another patient in the maximum security wing, authorities said Monday.

The death comes after a federal investigation that culminated in May 2008 with the U.S. Justice Department citing Georgia's "unabated" failure to address dangerous conditions in state mental hospitals that have caused preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses.

The 39-year-old man was killed in his room after the altercation Sunday night in the Cook Building, which houses patients referred by the courts for reasons such as evaluation of mental competency or those who have been judged to be mentally ill, said Tom Davis, the agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation office in Milledgeville.

Death was attributed to asphyxia by strangulation, with a contributing factor of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the medical examiner's report.

Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzalez identified the victim as Christopher Yates. Mr. Gonazalez did not have his hometown, nor did he know why Mr. Yates was a patient there.

Investigators were looking for a rope used to strangle Mr. Yates, the coroner said.

The GBI wouldn't comment on a suspect or motive but said there had been no arrests as of Monday afternoon.

Another patient was involved in the death, said Taka Wiley, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Resources, which operates Georgia's seven mental hospitals.

She declined further comment, except to say the DHR was assisting the GBI in the investigation.

Central State Hospital is the largest and oldest of Georgia's facilities for the mentally ill or developmentally disabled.

It opened in 1842 as the State Asylum for the Insane.

PATIENT DEATHS

Investigations by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution concluded that abuse, neglect and poor medical care contributed to the 136 patient deaths in the state hospitals from 2002 through 2007.

In August, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced a reorganization of state social services, a plan that would include a new agency dedicated to mental health care. The DHR plans to close some of hospitals, move some patients to others and direct many would-be patients toward community-based mental health care facilities.

Comments (17) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
toldya
0
Points
toldya 04/07/09 - 11:14 am
0
0
No cameras in the rooms?

No cameras in the rooms? What brainchild is behind that?

merlin
0
Points
merlin 04/08/09 - 09:53 am
0
0
Doesn't sound like maximum

Doesn't sound like maximum security to me!

corgimom
32412
Points
corgimom 04/08/09 - 10:13 am
0
0
Think it through. If you were

Think it through. If you were in a hospital. would you like to be photographed 24 hours per day, and not have any privacy? That's why they don't have cameras in the rooms. They have them in the halls and the common rooms. Prisons are the same way.

SusieQ
1
Points
SusieQ 04/08/09 - 11:35 am
0
0
Just like the nursing homes,

Just like the nursing homes, no cameras in there. Big business will fight that tooth and nail because of the abuse that goes on there. You would be surprise how the elderly are over drugged and pitched around in these places. Who cares if someone sees you hind-end, it's better than being pinched or slapped. SusieQ

toldya
0
Points
toldya 04/08/09 - 11:51 am
0
0
Corgimom: I am thinking it

Corgimom: I am thinking it through- you are talking about a regular hospital-I think in a faciltiy where they house mentally disturbed people, it is imperative that cameras be in the rooms.Mentally disturbed people can be taken advantage of or attacked by others, as proof, read above. Cameras need to be implemented 24/7. prisons are different because the doors LOCK behind the prisoner and they are 'gate" type doors so anyone can see into them.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 04/08/09 - 01:12 pm
0
0
136 dealths in 5 years is

136 dealths in 5 years is alot, maybe camera's would be a good idea, if it helps to save lives.......poor guy.

struggling parent
1
Points
struggling parent 04/08/09 - 02:47 pm
0
0
You have to realize that when

You have to realize that when patients are sent there, they are already out of control due to no meds, illegal drugs that exarbate the illness they are already sufering from. I used to work in a place like that. It is extremely difficult and hard to hire and keep staffs on hand to handle the patients. I am not being cold hearted about this, but the state has got to step up on working the solutions to hire more people and give them hazard pays. They do not get same wages as ones in the prison gets. All psych patients are dangerous to everyone.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 04/08/09 - 03:00 pm
0
0
i agree struggling parent, my

i agree struggling parent, my dad and step mom used to work at the hospital in milledgeville and it is a very hard job, both phyically and mentally challenging and the pay isn't enough for what you have to deal with. like so many other jobs, they are under paid and under appreciated.

corgimom
32412
Points
corgimom 04/08/09 - 09:10 pm
0
0
Oh, I know, but mentally ill

Oh, I know, but mentally ill people still have Constitutional rights to privacy unless a judge signs an order that says they must be observed 24 hours.

Junket831
0
Points
Junket831 04/08/09 - 10:40 pm
0
0
Its a matter of public

Its a matter of public safety. The workers in direct contact with patients or criminals in these state facilities should be paid the same as law enforcement. We as a society ask a lot of workers who are in a dangerous situation on a daily basis.

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 04/09/09 - 06:51 am
0
0
Only the strong survive, ...

Only the strong survive, ... and I'm feelin' mighty weak.

southerncurves01
0
Points
southerncurves01 04/09/09 - 08:43 am
0
0
Sad, Sad, Sad What is going

Sad, Sad, Sad What is going on in this world:(

corgimom
32412
Points
corgimom 04/09/09 - 10:00 am
0
0
This is an interesting issue.

This is an interesting issue. Take it a step further. What about nursing homes, where a lot of us will end up in, one day? Would you feel ok about having everything you do- dressing, eating, sleeping, toileting- being filmed? I wouldn't. What about dignity and privacy, versus safety? Because a lot of residents in nursing homes are violent. I can see both sides of this, and I don't know what the right answer is.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 04/09/09 - 10:01 am
0
0
Community based mental health

Community based mental health care facilities = the house next door to you. Of course my language is written in something understandable and such lanuage must be laboriously written in terms meant to confuse the electorate, only in this way can we control what they know and think.

corgimom
32412
Points
corgimom 04/09/09 - 10:53 am
0
0
My ex had a cousin with

My ex had a cousin with Down's. He was violent and antagonistic and was very difficult to be around. He was put in one of those "community-based" facilities. We pitied the neighbors, they didn't deserve that. He finally got moved to another facility because he caused so many problems in the neighborhood, including his lack of understanding that certain things need to be done in private, and not in front of other people. Men, women, children- he was an equal-opportunity kind of guy. It was awful.

DMac_357
1
Points
DMac_357 04/09/09 - 11:04 am
0
0
Is there a wrongful death

Is there a wrongful death lawsuit in the future??

toldya
0
Points
toldya 04/09/09 - 11:05 am
0
0
Corgimom: Once you are based

Corgimom: Once you are based in a prison (mental facility or not) you lose some rights, freedom of movement is just one. The fact is: if cameras were in the rooms (not bathrooms-which by the way shouldn't have doors) this could have been avoided. As far as your cousin is concerned- what about the neighbors right to live in a state of peaceful society, which is our right. I believe in these community based homes-but when it comes to sexually explicit behavior- he needs to be moved into a facility where there are cameras, if his behavior contiues, put him in time out in his room.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs