August 29, 2007

CU Attacker Update

More on the attacker, Kenton Astin:
Astin has been previously diagnosed as a schizophrenic. In 2001, he was acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity after trying to stab a 21-year-old man in Longmont.
Astin had been considered a "moderate" risk following the 2001 attack, but was later deemed "low risk" by state officials in late 2006. Details of the incident:
On March 31, 2001, according to court records, Astin walked into the Salvation Army store in Longmont, pulled a knife from a green bag and stabbed Dylan Trembley. The two men scuffled, and Trembley was able to take the knife and ram it into Astin's cheek. At some point, according to police reports, Astin "grabbed a Bible from his bag and was yelling something about God sending him."
Mental health officials are worried about a backlash after the incident, but parents are also concerned:
Kitty DeKieffer, spokeswoman for the Mental Health Center, which oversees the Chinook Clubhouse and runs the residential facility where Astin lived, said she hoped CU's action wouldn't stigmatize people with mental illness.

"We've enjoyed a very good relationship with (CU)," she said. "This is one incident."

The lack of background checks surprised Rebecca Carr, of Indianapolis, who was helping her daughter, Courtney, a 19-year-old sophomore, buy books at the University Memorial Center on Tuesday.

Carr, who works in the mental health field, also said she was surprised that Astin was able to live freely in an area densely populated with students.

"It's worrisome," she said.
Boulder County sheriffs conclude lethal force would have been justifiable in this attack.

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