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URGENT: Arnold Smith ordered released from state mental hospital

Thursday, November 3, 2016, 2:45 pm News Flash Archive

Just moments ago, Hinds County Chancellor Denise Owens signed an order releasing Dr. Arnold Smith from the State Mental Hospital at Whitfield. He is to be transferred initially to Pine Grove, which provides private mental health services. Upon completion of the prescribed re-integration treatment, Smith will be released to live with his wife, Mary Smith, at their home in Jackson.

The Court's order, detailing the restrictions under which Dr. Smith will be released into the outside world, may be seen here: Involuntary Outpatient Treatment Order.

Smith's attorney William Bell had requested release from Whitfield in August, 2016, after Tulane University psychiatric experts recommended that Dr. Arnold Smith be released from the State Mental Hospital at Whitfield and treated on an outpatient basis at his home in Jackson.

Dr. Smith was indicted for conspiring to murder Greenwood attorney Lee Abraham back in 2012. During a shoot-out at Abraham's Market Street office, investigators from the Attorney General's office shot and killed Keaira Byrd and wounded Derrick Lacy. Video later emerged which showed Dr. Smith instructing Byrd to shoot Abraham right between the eyes.

But the criminal case against Smith ground to a halt when Circuit Court Judge Breland Hilburn ruled that Smith was incompetent to stand trial, on account of his psychotic delusions of a persecutory nature. Smith was then committed to the State Mental Hospital at Whitfield where he has remained ever since.

Smith's attorney has been fighting to spring Dr. Smith from Whitfield in the Hinds County Chancery Court, but last February Judge Denise Owens rebuffed his efforts. She ruled that there has been no change in Smith's delusional disorder, and that he remains a violent risk both to himself and to others. She further determined that there was no viable alternative to his remaining in custody so that he may continue to receive his anti-psychotic injections.

But in today's court order, Judge Owens adopted the new assessment by medical experts that Smith could be strictly monitored and treated in safety as an outpatient, under a long list of special requirements.

Today's court order mirrors the recommendations of the Tulane report. It requires that he be denied access to money, weapons, the internet, and printed materials unless they had been cleared by a court-appointed monitor. He will be required to wear an electronic tracking bracelet, and will continue to receive his anti-psychotic injections. He will be subject to drug testing, and is forbidden to take any hormones, or unauthorized nutritional supplements.

The Court Order also commands that Smith not have any contact with Lee Abraham, AG Jim Hood and his staff, Dr. Sayed Rafique (a former physician partner from over a decade ago), Cordarious Robinson and Derrick Lacy (accused co-conspirators of Smith's), Hiram Eastland Jr., Ed Brunini, Dick Cowart, John Horty, and Chris Lott. Smith would also be prohibited from traveling to Greenwood.

The Taxpayers Channel's previous reporting may be seen here: Tulane Docs recommend Dr. Arnold Smith's release from Whitfield.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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