A hearing is expected within 30 days to evaluate the mental state of former Greensburg resident Jordan Batsell. Batsell was found not guilty last November on three counts of animal cruelty and was committed to Larned State Hospital for a minimum 90-day evaluation.
Batsell, represented by Larned attorney Mark A. Cowell, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was formally arraigned at an appearance on Oct. 25., pleading not guilty to three counts of animal cruelty.
District Judge Van Z. Hampton found Batsell not guilty "by lack of mental state," following his trial on Nov. 14.
The finding, pursuant to K.S.A 22-3428, requires acknowledgement that "the defendant, at the time of the alleged crime, was suffering from a mental disease or defect which rendered the defendant incapable of possessing the required criminal intent."
Judge Hampton's ruling was based on an independent psychological evaluation submitted to the court by Dr. Mark Goodman, a Hutchinson-based psychologist.
State statutes require the chief medical officer to submit an evaluation within the first 90 days of treatment. The court would then schedule a hearing to determine if he is a "mentally ill person."
The judge may release Batsell if there is "clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is not currently a mentally ill person" according to Kansas statutes.
The judge may grant outright release, conditional release or commit Batsell for additional treatment.
A hearing on his review has not been set.
Last February Batsell was arrested by Kiowa County Sheriff's Department in connection with the death of a cat and the mutilation and death of a dog that was alleged to have occurred between October 2011 and Feb. 29, 2012.