Virginia lawmaker: Negligent mental health provider is ‘responsible’ for son’s stabbing-suicide incident

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 9:37 EDT
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Creigh Deeds via Senator Deeds dot com
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In an email interview with his local newspaper, Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) said that he specifically holds the Rockbridge Community Service Board (CSB) — a local mental health agency — responsible for his son’s death.

According to the Washington Post, Deeds told the Bath County Recorder [subscription only] that he is not ready yet to discuss the incident in detail.

He said that in the wake of the tragedy, however, he will dedicate his life now to making certain no other family has to experience what his has gone through since his son attacked him with a knife last week, then took his own life.

“I cry a lot. I can’t focus now and talk to anyone,” Sen. Deeds told the Recorder.

“I have very strong opinions about CSB, and feel like they are responsible,” he said. “My life’s work now is to make sure other families don’t have to go through what we are living.”

Last Tuesday, 24-year-old Austin “Gus” Deeds stabbed his father in the face and chest after an argument outside their rural Virginia home. Gus then shot himself inside the Bath County residence, ending his life. The elder Deeds was hospitalized but is now recovering at home.

On Monday, Gus Deeds underwent a psychiatric evaluation at the Rockbridge Area CSB. His condition had been serious enough that a magistrate judge issued an emergency custody order mandating the exam and assessment by mental health officials.

However, Rockbridge CSB told the Deeds family that there was no bed available for Gus and sent him home. Now local psychiatric facilities say that they did have beds available, but that they were never contacted about Gus Deeds.

The Post quoted Sen. Deeds as saying, “It seems inconvenient for those people to provide services here. I have heard from people in Rockbridge about lack of services, too, so I think there may be a bigger problem here. I am alive for a reason, and I will work for change. I owe that to my precious son.”

[image of Creigh Deeds via SenatorDeeds.com]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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