LIMA — A 67-year-old Lima man with a history of mental illness and run-ins with the law in several states was committed Tuesday to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo for extended treatment.
Edward Thomas was deemed by forensic psychologists earlier this year to be incompetent to stand trial on second-degree felony charges of burglary. He was back in court Tuesday for a hearing to determine his short- and long-term future.
A doctor at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio in Dayton who made the ruling on Thomas’ competency to stand trial recommended that criminal charges against him be dismissed. That would pave the way for a civil commitment, the doctor wrote, which in turn would allow for a greater number of placement and treatment options.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller argued in favor of keeping Thomas’ case in the hands of the court, saying civil commitment options “are not restrictive enough” to assure the safety of the community.
“Given the severity of his mental illness, I’m uncomfortable with civil placement. I think it’s better for the court to maintain jurisdiction. The tighter restrictions, the better,” Miller said.
Thomas was charged with burglary after Allen County deputies were dispatched to 390 Brower Road on July 31, 2019, about a man who had been struck in the head and was lying unconscious in the driveway.
Louvon Ousley told police she was watching television when Thomas opened the door and walked in. The woman told Thomas he was not welcome, but he pushed her and entered the residence a second time, according to court documents.
The woman’s son, Danny Ousley, said Edwards had walked into his mother’s residence without permission and that he, Ousley, had struck Thomas with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground.
In an interview with police the following day, Thomas said he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs but did not remember being at the Brower Road residence the previous evening, according to court documents. All he remembered, he said, was “purchasing a beer from Daley’s Grocery Store and then waking up in the Allen County jail.”