Judge rules man who killed woman in 1991 must receive psychiatric medications

Staff report


A Trumbull County judge has given officials at a state mental hospital permission to force former county resident James Hubbard to take certain psychiatric medications.

Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court issued the order at the end of a hearing Friday. A psychiatrist and psychologist recommended the action to try to improve Hubbard’s mental state.

Hubbard, 52, was found not guilty by reason of insanity after shooting a woman to death in 1991 in the parking lot of the former Taco Bell restaurant in Niles and shooting at another woman on Ridge Road in Weathersfield Township the same day.

Dr. Xiomara Simmons, a psychiatrist at Healthland Behavioral Healthcare in Massillon, a state mental hospital, testified that she has been the treating physician for Hubbard since early December 2017.

She said Hubbard’s condition has worsened since he was placed on a different medication in March 2017. He has been acting guarded, suspicious, paranoid and evasive and said he heard voices and felt that people were trying to kill him, she said.

In December, Hubbard said he had been hearing voices for about seven months, she said. Hubbard, whose diagnosis is paranoid schizophrenia, has refused to allow his doctors to try different medications, she said.

He punched a male nurse on Jan. 8 and later told Dr. Michael Christy, a psychologist at the facility, that he did it because the nurse was “trying to turn him into a spy,” Dr. Christy testified.

Drs. Simmons and Christy said this was the first time since Hubbard has been at Heartland that he has assaulted anyone.

Hubbard agreed on Monday to try the medication he was on before March, and he did better on it.

But he has continued to express fears that staff might try to hurt him, Dr. Christy said.

Judge McKay said without doctors being able to administer various other medications to Hubbard, he might be a danger to himself or others.

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