A Daviess County jury deliberated about 30 minutes Tuesday before finding Christopher Lee Jackson guilty but mentally ill for assaulting a police officer in 2010.
The finding means Jackson, 26, of the 3600 block of Winchester Drive, is entitled by law to receive mental health treatment while incarcerated.
The jury sentenced Jackson to three years in prison on one count of third-degree assault for assaulting Owensboro Police Officer Whitney Adamson on Feb. 10, 2010, when Adamson and Sgt. Brad Youngman responded to a disturbance at the home where Jackson lived with his family.
Jackson struck Adamson several times in the face when officers were called to respond to a report by Jackson's family of Jackson talking to himself, behaving erratically and walking around the home with a knife and a hammer. Adamson received minor injuries and was treated at Owensboro Medical Health System.
Jackson is schizophrenic -- and the defense argued throughout the two-day trial that Jackson was mentally incapacitated to the point where he could not understand or control his actions at the time of the incident.
Jackson is also facing a charge of murder for allegedly causing the death of Leslie Tyler Mulligan, 78, at Rosedale Nursing home in 2008. Jackson allegedly beat and kicked Mulligan, causing injuries from which Mulligan died two months later.
A forensic psychologist who works for the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center -- the place where the court system sends people charged with crimes to be evaluated for competency to stand trial -- told jurors Tuesday he believes Jackson was not able to control himself during the 2010 incident.
Jackson "wasn't able to behave in a rational manner," said Dr. Andrew Cooley, director of adult forensic psychiatric services at KCPC.
Cooley, who evaluated Jackson previously, said his medical opinion was that Jackson's schizophrenia was manifesting itself to the point where he couldn't react rationally.
Jackson's symptoms included hallucinations, delusions, an inability to plan activities and problems with understanding language and communicating, Cooley said.
Commonwealth's Attorney Bruce Kuegel noted prior testimony that Jackson had obeyed Youngman's command to sit down prior to the assault; when Jackson knocked Adamson down and began striking her in the head, Jackson stopped and raised his hands when Youngman threatened to shoot him, Kuegel said.
"He was processing some information," Cooley said. "He was able to understand what was spoken to him and respond."
The jury found Jackson not guilty of a second third-degree assault charge, which stemmed from Youngman being hit with an elbow while Jackson was attacking Adamson.
After the verdict, defense attorney David Farley -- who had asked the jury to find Jackson not guilty be reason of insanity-- said the jury's decision "was not what I expected."
"It's not a defense a lot of people are willing to accept, whatever the evidence," Farley said.
Farley hasn't made a decision on appealing the conviction and said "we'll have to see" how the verdict in the assault case affects Jackson's murder charge.
Farley said he wasn't sure where Jackson would be incarcerated; part of his sentence calls for him to receive mental health treatment.
Jackson has been treated unsuccessfully for schizophrenia in the past; Cooley said, in 2009, Jackson was released from a mental health facility even though he was not responding adequately to the two anti-psychotic medications he was taking.
Jackson was placed on a different anti-psychotic medication in 2010 after being sent to KCPC, which caused him to improve to the point where he was found competent to stand trial.
"We don't know where he'll go once he is committed to (the Department of) Corrections," Farley said. "That's one of the things we'll discuss."
Kuegel said he wouldn't comment on Jackson's murder charges.
Kuegel said he accepted the jury's decision. "I'm satisfied with the verdict and the outcome," he said. "Any time you're dealing with these kinds of issues, it's complex."
Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 28. A date for his trial on the murder charge has not yet been set.
Copyright 2013 - Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service