Judge rules Patrick Heltzel must remain in state hospital at least until next evaluation in two years


Staff report

WARREN

Patrick Heltzel, 23, will remain in a state psychiatric hospital until his next hearing in two years, Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court ruled Thursday.

State law required Heltzel to have his first hearing six months after his commitment and every two years after that. He could spend up to the rest of his life in the facility.

Heltzel, formerly of Warren, killed Milton Grumbling III, 71, of Kincaid East Road in Warren Township April 4, 2013, but Judge Logan ruled him not guilty by reason of insanity in June and committed Heltzel to Heartland Behavioral Healthcare in Massillon.

Heltzel’s privileges at Heartland will remain Level 2, the judge ruled Thursay during a hearing that Heltzel attended in a jail jumpsuit.

Vince Arduin, forensic monitor for Trumbull County for the Forensic Psychiatric Center of Northeast Ohio in Austintown, said Level 2 means Heltzel will be able to move about the facility’s “treatment mall” with supervision of his movements, meaning he can travel to and from his living unit to the facility’s library, recreational/television room, gymnasium and enclosed outdoor area.

Heltzel had Level 1 privileges when he first arrived at Heartland, meaning he was confined to his living unit, which is smaller and has fewer activities, Arduin said.

At the hearing, Judge Logan said Madhubala Kothari, Heltzel’s treating psychiatrist, recommends continued commitment at Heartland for Heltzel.

Heltzel and the Trumbull prosecutor’s office agreed to the Kothari’s recommendation.

Judge Logan ruled that Heltzel “remains a mentally ill person subject to court order,” and the “least restrictive commitment consistent with the welfare of Mr. Heltzel and the public safety remains commitment to Heartland” and Level II privileges.

Authorities said Heltzel choked and stabbed Grumbling, then beat him with a television remote control.

In June, Judge Logan said Heltzel didn’t know the wrongfulness of his actions, saying Heltzel thought he was God and that he would be rescued of any wrongdoing because of his “divine status.”

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