Rapid City woman who attacked parents headed to group home
RAPID CITY (AP) -- A South Dakota woman ruled by a judge to be insane after she tried to kill her parents 3 ½ years ago is beginning a controlled re-entry into society.
Casey Eleeson stabbed her father with a kitchen knife in his Rapid City home in December 2009 then drove across town and shot her mother at her mother's home. She was apprehended almost a month later, hiding in a remote cabin in Colorado. Both parents recovered.
Judge Thomas Trimble in February 2011 found Eleeson not guilty by reason of insanity and committed her to a human services center. Eleeson, 25, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Doctors testified during a hearing Thursday that Eleeson has cooperated with their care plan. She takes her medication, has a job, is saving money and participates in programming, said David Olson, her psychiatrist.
Galen Van Clay, a clinical psychologist who has worked with Eleeson for two years, told the court that she had "reached the maximum benefit" from her time at the Yankton facility, according to KEVN-TV.
Pennington County Chief Deputy State's Attorney Lara Roetzel, who has handled Eleeson's case from the beginning, did not oppose Eleeson's move to a transitional facility.
"She tried to kill her mother and her father. It was a very serious crime -- attempted first-degree murder -- but society needs to have an understanding of mental illness and the stigma and the fear associated with psychiatric disorders," the prosecutor said, according to the Rapid City Journal.
Trimble is allowing Eleeson to move into a transitional facility, most likely in Watertown, under several conditions including that she continue to take her medication, not drive, and not possess a gun or knife. She eventually could move into a group home in Rapid City.
"I am ready for this," Eleeson said during the hearing.