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Wednesday, Apr 09 2014 12:21 PM

'First Look': Columnist wonders if Laura's Law could have saved man's life

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    Californian columnist Lois Henry discusses her latest column on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Californian columnist Lois Henry has written about people with mental illness and said she believes there is a lot that is not done for this population.

"It's sad because we have the tools," Henry said Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

Henry talked about her latest column about Davon Mosley, a severely mentally ill 20-year-old who was found dead in an Alaskan jail cell.

When Mosley turned 18, he had the right to control his own medication. While living in Kern County, he ended up in Wasco State Prison after he seriously injured two family members with a machete during a psychotic break, Henry said.

"He thought he was a demon," Henry said.

After the attack, he served 14 months of a two-year prison sentence.

It is during this time that Henry wonders whether Laura's Law might have saved his life.

"Laura's Law allows family members to step in and ask a court to mandate outpatient treatments for a severly mentally ill person," Henry said.

But Kern County didn't see the benefit of Laura's Law, she added. Some said the aid was too expensive and it wouldn't work.

When Mosley was released from prison, he had another altercation and was put on parole. He then decided to visit Alaska with his fiancee, a toddler and a baby on the way.

"His parents were afraid for the safety of his kids and fiancee after they got into a heated argument and they called Anchorage police," Henry said.

Mosley had a warrant and that's why he went to jail in Alaska.

His fiancee, now pregnant with a third child, talked to Mosley daily but suddenly on March 23, she received no more calls and wasn't allowed to visit.

"She calls the court and is told the charges were dismissed and he was set to be released April 2, so she waited," Henry said.

On April 4, he was found dead at 1:48 p.m.

"It's weird and mysterious because he was alone in a segregated unit," Henry said. "The coroner's office said he died of natural causes."

Henry said jails are not set up for mentally ill people, yet they have to deal with mental illness every day.

 

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