Lincoln man returned to psychiatric hospital

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln man judged insane after killing his cousin in 2001 was returned to a state psychiatric hospital this week because funding for his treatment had ended, his lawyer said in court papers.

Brandon Irland spent the past year in the CenterPointe Adult Residential Program, where by all accounts he had done well, according to the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/Pu0WWf ). But his attorney, Joe Nigro, told Judge Steven Burns earlier this week that funding for the 32-year-old's treatment ended Friday, and Nebraska's Medicaid administrator wouldn't authorize payment even if the court ordered him to stay.

Nigro said CenterPointe prepared a discharge plan for Irland, suggesting that he live with his mother, have his medication monitored, attend the Day Rehabilitation Program at CenterPointe and participate in an outpatient program.

But the judge said Irland didn't have a good track record when given more freedoms and he was ordering Irland returned to the hospital.

Nigro asked Burns to consider the plan during a hearing this week. Three months earlier, the judge said Irland needed to remain in the program for 18 months before he'd consider moving him to a less restrictive environment.

Adult Residential Program Director Mary Jane Gruba said a normal stay is six to eight months. As of Friday, Irland had been there for a year.

Burns said in August that he shared prosecutors' concerns that Irland previously had shown a tendency to seek illicit drugs when he wasn't being strictly supervised. Irland was under the influence of illicit drugs nearly 11 years ago when he shot and killed his cousin, Adon Sanchez.

Police said Irland, a paranoid schizophrenic with anti-social personality disorder, shot Sanchez five times with a shotgun in front of Irland's north Lincoln residence.

Irland had been at the regional center until October 2008 when, based on the recommendation of the treatment team, Burns allowed him to transfer to CTP-at-the-Heather, an unlocked residential facility in Lincoln. But Irland was taken back to the regional center four months later, after testing positive for using marijuana.

He was on a waiting list for the CenterPointe program when, on May 2, 2009, he hit a patient who he thought was staring at him.

On Aug. 17, 2009, Irland assaulted a regional center staff member. He stayed there until Nov. 16, 2011, when he was transitioned to CenterPointe.

At a hearing Monday, CenterPointe Executive Director Topher Hansen said there needed to be a medical necessity for treatment. At this stage, because of Irland's progress, the medical necessity didn't exist. He said Irland's stay was covered until Monday, but no later.

"I can't afford to keep him in my facility beyond when payment is authorized," Hansen said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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