DENVER (AP) – A psychiatrist has recommended that a mentally disturbed Dane accused of starting a forest fire that burned 149 homes should be forcibly medicated, which could pave the way for a trial more than three years later. The state mental hospital doctor’s finding, revealed at a court hearing on Monday but not discussed in detail, still needs to be approved by a judge before a drug can be administered to Jesper Joergensen, who has been repeatedly declared incapable of being tried. after being diagnosed with delusional disorder following the Spring Creek fire in 2018.
It burned over 156 square miles about 205 miles south of Denver. Joergensen’s lawyers said he refused to take medication to treat his illness because his delusions made him believe he was fine and did not need it.
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The psychiatrist’s report, which contains medical information about Joergensen, is not publicly available but has been made available to prosecutors and his lawyers.
According to previous documents filed in court, Joergensen falsely claimed to have had a romantic relationship with singer Alanis Morissette and that various people associated with her had set it up.
The case was slowed down by numerous delays. Joergensen was only transferred to the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, which has struggled for years to meet demand for assessments of those accused of crimes, only in June, as admissions were further slowed by the pandemic. . Then, upon arrival, the only staff doctor at the time qualified to perform a forced drug assessment was injured and unable to work.
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Earlier this year, Judge Gregory Lyman appeared poised to dismiss the charges against Joergensen, in the hope that he would be deported to Denmark for having an expired visa. This approach, suggested by Joergensen’s lawyers, appeared to be an option because a psychiatrist at a prison where he had previously been held said he did not believe Joergensen would be eligible for forced medication once admitted to CMHIP. because he didn’t seem to pose a risk to himself or others. However, in February, the prosecution told Lyman that federal immigration officials would not deport Joergensen due to changes in immigration policy made by the new Biden administration. This led to Lyman ordering that Joergensen be taken to the mental hospital.
Another judge from Pueblo will hold a hearing on Joergensen’s request for forced treatment at the mental hospital, Aaron Pratt of the Colorado attorney general’s office said in Monday’s hearing.
By COLLEEN SLEVIN Associated Press
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