BRIEF: MHI attempted murder case put on hold
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier - 5/25/2018
May 25--INDEPENDENCE -- The case of a Mental Health Institute patient accused of trying to kill another patient and assaulting a staff member has been put on hold because of competency concerns.
Terrance David Rooney Jr., 44, is charged with attempted murder, first-degree harassment and assault on a health care worker for allegedly trying to smother a fellow patient with a pillow in November and twisting a worker's thumb.
Trial had been set for this month, but on May 2 Judge Andrea Dryer stayed proceedings and ordered Rooney undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he can understand the charges and participate in his own defense.
Rooney was turned over to the Iowa Department of Corrections'Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale for the evaluation.
Defense attorney Laura Gavigan had requested to evaluation, saying Rooney had impaired cognitive abilities and mental illness.
Rooney has a history of threatening presidents, law makers and judges and a history of mental health commitments, according to court records.
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