Cho entzog sich der psychiatrischen Behandlung
08.05.2007 - 14:39
08.05.2007 - 14:39
Los Angeles Times
Va. Tech gunman dodged mental health treatment
From the Associated Press
10:39 AM PDT, May 7, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The gunman who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech failed to get the
mental health treatment ordered by a judge who declared him an imminent threat
to himself and others, a newspaper reported today.
Seung-Hui Cho was found "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization" in
December 2005, according to court papers. A judge ordered him into involuntary
However, neither the court nor community mental health officials followed up on
the judge's order, and Cho didn't get the treatment, The Washington Post
reported, citing unidentified authorities who have seen Cho's medical files.
"The system doesn't work well," said Tom Diggs, executive director of the
Commission on Mental Health Law Reform, which has been studying the state mental
health system and will report to the General Assembly next year.
Federal, state and local officials contacted Monday by The Associated Press said
they had no idea whether Cho received the treatment because they are not privy
to that information. School officials did not return calls seeking comment.
yet, said its chairman, retired Virginia State Police Superintendent W. Gerald
Massengill. The eight-member panel meets for the first time this week, when it
expects to get a confidential briefing from the state police.
On Dec. 13, 2005, Cho e-mailed a roommate at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg saying
that he might as well commit suicide. The roommate called police, who took Cho
to the New River Valley Community Services Board, the area's mental health agency.
Cho was detained temporarily at Carilion St. Albans Behavioral Health Clinic in
Christiansburg, a few miles from campus, until a special justice could review
his case in a commitment hearing.
On Dec. 14, special judge Paul M. Barnett found that Cho was an imminent danger
to himself and ordered him into involuntary outpatient treatment. Special
justices are lawyers with some expertise and training who are appointed by the
jurisdiction's chief judge.
Terry W. Teel, Cho's court-appointed lawyer at the time, said he does not
remember Cho or the details of his case. But he said Cho most likely would have
been ordered to seek treatment at Virginia Tech's Cook Counseling Center.
The court doesn't follow up because "we have no authority," Teel said.
Virginia Tech mental health officials would not discuss Cho's case because of
Virginia law says community services boards "shall recommend a specific course
of treatment and programs" for people such as Cho who are ordered to receive
outpatient treatment. It also says these boards "shall monitor the person's
"That's news to us," said Mike Wade of the New River Valley Community Services
Peter Widmer <email@anonym;
3803 Beatenberg <http://www.pewid.ch>