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Washington State News

Washington Ordered to pay Alleged Violent Criminal $250 a day

(The Center Square) – A man charged in two separate attacks in a Seattle light rail station will receive $250 every day he does not receive mental health treatment.

Alexander Jay was arrested on March 3 and then charged with second degree assault for allegedly throwing a woman down multiple flights of stairs in a light rail station in the Chinatown-International District of Seattle. Jay was also charged with first-degree assault after allegedly stabbing another woman 10 times at a bus stop the same day.

On April 25, Jay was found to be too incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to receive competency restoration services through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, according to court documents. A King County judge ordered Jay to spend three months at an inpatient facility. 

More than 100 days passed and Washington state was unable yet to provide the necessary treatment for Jay, which caused King County Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender to order the Department of Social and Health Services to pay Jay $250 every day he does not receive mental health treatment.

According to court documents, the DSHS estimates an admission the week of Aug.15-19. A two month wait period could ultimately cost taxpayers more than $15,000.

The defense requested to dismiss the case due to the delay in providing competency restoration services, but the motion was dismissed. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office argued for their objection to the motion to dismiss saying, “Dismissal is not the appropriate remedy in this matter; The judge should deny the defense motion to dismiss the cases; and there are important governmental interests in prosecuting these cases,” according to an email from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

DSHS could not comment directly on Jay’s case due to patient confidentiality. However, the department still told The Center Square in an email that it is working to provide more beds for patients in the Western State Hospital for Jay and others who have been ordered to receive treatment from the department.

“Over the past seven fiscal years, inpatient evaluations and competency restoration services have increased 87%. We at the Washington State [DSHS] are working to grow capacity so people who experience mental illness and await competency evaluations and restoration services while incarcerated receive them in a timely manner and in an appropriate setting,” a spokesman for DSHS said in an email. “We are hopeful that the addition of 58 forensic beds at the new wing of Western State Hospital opening in a few months will help play a role in cutting wait times for those who need mental health services in the criminal court system.”

Court records show that Jay has a criminal record dating back to 2000. In an examination of Jay’s mental status by the state on April 19, he was diagnosed as suffering from  “unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder.” There is also a history of Jay using alcohol and methamphetamines.

Jay remains in custody at the King County Jail with a $650,000 bond for the two assault charges from March 3.