A West Richland man accused of brutally killing his grandmother in her Kennewick home earlier this year will remain at a state psychiatric hospital for another six months.
Adam Ryan Williams, 29, has been at Eastern State Hospital since shortly after the Jan. 27 death of Viola Williams, 87.
Williams, who is charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree murder, is being evaluated to determine if he is competent to stand trial. He reportedly told Kennewick detectives after his arrest that God sent a guiding light directing him to kill his grandmother.
On Monday, Judge Bruce Spanner was told that staff at the Medical Lake facility recommended Williams remain there for more treatment. Williams was not in court for the hearing.
Defense attorney Alexandria Sheridan said she and attorney Sal Mendoza Jr. spoke to Williams and they all agree it is best for him to remain at Eastern State for treatment.
Spanner noted that the latest report by Eastern State officials said Williams is competent enough to understand court proceedings, but at this point lacks the ability to assist in his defense.
He found that Williams remains a substantial danger to others, but there's a "substantial probability" that he will regain competency with more treatment.
Prosecutor Andy Miller said the treatment is for another six months, but staff at Eastern State will provide another report in three months. If Williams is determined to be competent at that time, a hearing would be scheduled.
Williams has not entered a plea in the case. Court proceedings have been on hold since Williams' first hearing so he could get a mental health evaluation.
After his first 15-day evaluation at Eastern State Hospital, he was found not competent to stand trial. He has since undergone two, 90-day restoration periods at the hospital.
According to an Aug. 16 report by psychologist Randall Strandquist and psychiatrist Dr. Sami Pateras, Williams has made some progress in the past three months. They said he has shown an increase in his ability to socialize with others and a slight increase in participation in groups and activities, documents said.
He remains fairly seclusive, however, and has declined to participate in competency restoration classes, the report said.
Staff observing Williams have noted that he continued to pace the hallways and engage in conversation when others aren't around him. He also reportedly continues to have telepathic communications with God and others.
The report said Williams' cognitive distortions and delusion become prevalent when discussing the crime, but that he volunteers details of his thoughts and behaviors around the time of the crime.
"He has the ability to discuss this but lacks the ability to see the insanity at the foundation of his behaviors. It is our opinion that the severity of the crime and his emotional dissonance regarding this are severe and trigger psychotic thought process," the report said.
Medical staff have apparently been trying to slowly change Williams' medications to the same combination that he was prescribed last year when he left the facility.
In 2006, Williams was found "not guilty by reason of insanity" of third-degree assault in Franklin County Superior Court and was kept at Eastern State Hospital for five years, the maximum time allowed on the charge.
A previous Eastern State Hospital report said that Williams was released March 17, 2011, on a "Least Restrictive Alternative" for six months and participated in continued mental health treatment through Lourdes Counseling Center's PACT team.
The latest report indicated Williams last left the facility in June 2011, and at that time it was felt that he was "stable on his psychotrophic medications regiment to be released within the community and thought that he would be successful within the community," documents said.
Adjustments to his medications were apparently made once he was released, so he was not receiving the same medications before his arrest, the report said.
Strandquist and Pateras also said they discussed what would happen to Williams if he was found competent, and Williams apparently knew what the plea options were and said that he wanted to go to prison after all was said and done, documents said.
Williams said he could have coffee in prison, a TV in his own room and there was a large yard and place to exercise, documents said.
Williams also reportedly said that he doesn't believe he's crazy but "I try to tell people how I feel and they think I'm crazy," documents said. He also said he felt he had no control over where everything is going and that the only reason he's there is because "God wants me to be here," the report said.
The report indicated that officials at Eastern State felt the cycle of being in and out different units at the hospital through the civil commitment process would wear on Williams and be a disservice to him, documents said. That's why they recommended another six months of treatment for competency restoration.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org