Mental illness not unusual in horrific family crimes

EMBED </>More News Videos

Oliver Mauricio Funez Machado, 18, will undergo a mental health evaluation at Central Prison.

The alleged murder and decapitation of a Franklin County woman by her son is a horrific, but not unprecedented crime.

The Washington, D.C.-based Treatment Advocacy Center estimates 10 percent of all homicides every year are committed by individuals suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition, 29 percent of all family homicides are associated with severe mental illness.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

"This is an unusual case," Boyd Sturges, Oliver Mauricio Funez Machado's attorney, told ABC11. "I think mental health issues are going to be at the forefront and clearly those kinds of things are probably going to bear out."

Prosecutors charged Machado, 18, with first-degree murder.

RELATED: FRANKLIN COUNTY TEEN KILLED MOTHER 'BECAUSE I FELT LIKE IT'

"Under our criminal justice system, a person's mental health can be relevant depending on a number of factors and that is what I think we'll be looking at going forward," Sturges said.

Without a court order, Machado's mental health history and treatments remained sealed.

Still, the I-Team learned the teenager was committed to a hospital in Orange County.

North Carolina laws are among the most progressive in the country when it comes to early intervention, allowing any doctor, police officer, family member, friend or coworker to demand an emergency evaluation for someone he or she thinks needs attention.

Below are the official state statutes, and the next steps in the process.

EMERGENCY EVALUATION

- N.C. GEN. STAT. 122C-261(a). Anyone who has knowledge of an individual who is mentally ill and either (i) dangerous to self or dangerous to others, or (ii) in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would predictably result in dangerousness, may appear before a clerk or assistant or deputy clerk of superior court or a magistrate and execute an affidavit to this effect, and petition the clerk or magistrate for issuance of an order to take the respondent into custody for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist.
- N.C. GEN. STAT. 122C-262(a). Anyone, including a law enforcement officer, who has knowledge of an individual who is subject to inpatient commitment ... and who requires immediate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, may transport the individual directly to an area facility or other place, including a State facility for the mentally ill, for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist.

NC Emergency evaluation criteria:

- N.C. GEN. STAT. 122C-261(a). An individual who is mentally ill and either (i) dangerous to self or dangerous to others, or (ii) in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would predictably result in dangerousness, may (be taken, under court order,) into custody for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist.
N.C. GEN. STAT. 122C-262(a). An individual who is subject to inpatient commitment ... and who requires immediate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, may (be transported) directly to an area facility or other place, including a State facility for the mentally ill, for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist.

INPATIENT COMMITMENT

- N.C. GEN. STAT. 122C-266(a)(1). If the physician finds that the respondent is mentally ill and is dangerous to self ... or others ..., the physician shall hold the respondent at the facility pending the district court hearing.
- N.C. GEN. STAT. 122C-268(j). To support an inpatient commitment order, the court shall find by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent is mentally ill and dangerous to self... or dangerous to others.
- N.C. GEN. STAT. 122C-3(11). "Dangerous to himself or others" means:
a. "Dangerous to himself" means that within the relevant past: 32

1. The individual has acted in such a way as to show:

I. That he would be unable, without care, supervision, and the continued assistance of others not otherwise available, to exercise self-control, judgment, and discretion in the conduct of his daily responsibilities and social relations, or to satisfy his need for nourishment, personal or medical care, shelter, or self-protection and safety; and

II. That there is a reasonable probability of his suffering serious physical debilitation within the near future unless adequate treatment is given pursuant to this Chapter. A showing of behavior that is grossly irrational, of actions that the individual is unable to control, of behavior that is grossly inappropriate to the situation, or of other evidence of severely impaired insight and judgment shall create a prima facie inference that the individual is unable to care for himself; or

2. The individual has attempted suicide or threatened suicide and that there is a reasonable probability of suicide unless adequate treatment is given pursuant to this Chapter; or 3. The individual has mutilated himself or attempted to mutilate himself and that there is a reasonable probability of serious self-mutilation unless adequate treatment is given pursuant to this Chapter.

Previous episodes of dangerousness to self, when applicable, may be considered when determining reasonable probability of physical debilitation, suicide, or self-mutilation.

b. "Dangerous to others" means that within the relevant past, the individual has inflicted or attempted to inflict or threatened to inflict serious bodily harm on another, or has acted in such a way as to create a substantial risk of serious bodily harm to another, or has engaged in extreme destruction of property; and that there is a reasonable probability that this conduct will be repeated. Previous episodes of dangerousness to others, when applicable, may be considered when determining reasonable probability of future dangerous conduct. Clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that an individual has committed a homicide in the relevant past is prima facie evidence of dangerousness to others.


Report a Typo
Related Topics:
newsmurderfranklin county newsdecapitationteenI-TeamZebulon
(Copyright ©2017 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments