Family pleads for mental treatment for defendant in 10 Commandments destruction | Arkansas Blog

Family pleads for mental treatment for defendant in 10 Commandments destruction

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THE BROKEN MONUMENT: Family of man charged says his health more than the block of granite used in tablet.
  • THE BROKEN MONUMENT: Family of man charged says his health more than the block of granite used in tablet.
The family of Michael Reed, jailed pending an Aug. 29 arraignment on a felony first-degree criminal mischief charge for destroying the new Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds June 28, has written a judge urging medical treatment for Reed.

Reed remains jailed under a $100,000 bond on charges filed shortly after he drove his Dodge Dart over the newly erected monument.

He'd done a similar deed to a Commandments monument in Oklahoma, a case that was resolved by his agreement to mental treatment.

The Pulaski prosecutor has filed a single felony charge against Reed in circuit court for causing damage valued at up to $25,000. He's represented by a public defender and likely will seek a bond reduction at the Aug. 29 arraignment before Judge Chris Piazza.

Meanwhile, court records show, his mother and sisters have written Judge Vann Smith, the chief judge for the 6th Judicial District, urging mercy for Reed and help in getting him moved to a hospital from jail. In a letter received July 24, they said:

As you know, Michael has a diagnosed mental illness, schizoaffective disorder, that he is supposed to be on meds for. As his family, we have struggled to help him take this medication, especially when he's convinced he doesn't need it. All it takes is a couple of missed doses and his mental health goes down hill. His strong faith in God would never allow him to destroy the Ten Commandments monument. However, when he's off his medications, the voices in his head tell him to do things he would never do when he's stable and healthy.
The letter said Reed was not a criminal or a Satanist, but a former Bible college student who is sick and needs support. "After all his life is worth more than any block of granite." They asked for help in diverting him to treatment.  "No matter what commandments you follow, it's just the right thing to do." The letter was signed by his mother, Crystal Tucker, and sisters Mindy Poor and Jennifer Reed.

Smith responded Aug. 1 that he was only an administrative officer for the courts and couldn't act on the case, but said he'd refer their letter to the prosecutor,  Piazza and Reed's defense attorney. He added, "Hopefully your brother will receive the mental health care which he requires."

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