DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man previously imprisoned for killing his pregnant girlfriend was improperly discharged from a hospital hours before fatally shooting three people, a wrongful death lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit by the three victims' estates says the defendant, 62-year-old Muhammad Shabazz Ali, was evaluated at a Dayton hospital last year after saying he needed medicine so he wouldn't hurt anyone, the Dayton Daily News reported . The lawsuit alleges a behavioral center and a social worker failed to properly record and inform others about Ali's previous conviction and that a hospital psychiatrist broke protocol in approving Ali's release.
Hours later, Jasper Taylor, 74, Tammy Cox, 53, and Michael Cox, 25, were shot to death. Ali, who previously was known as Robert Ford Jr., is charged with aggravated murder and other charges. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the potential death penalty-case. He previously served more than two decades in prison for voluntary manslaughter in his girlfriend's death.
Ali had been taken to Grandview Hospital for treatment Aug. 10, 2016, after police received a 911 call from Day-Mont Behavioral Center. Workers there said he was throwing chairs and yelling, "I want my medication!"
A complaint amended in October alleges that social worker Jeannie Dobrovolc wrote a consultation note to a psychiatrist at the hospital, Dr. Brent Crane, indicating that had no history of assault. Crane approved Ali's release without examining him in person, the suit says.
Ali was released from the hospital "without anyone bothering to ascertain if he had transportation or other means of getting home, and with no documented follow-up plan," the suit says.
The complaint also says that Day-Mont did not keep adequate records about Ali's conviction and violent tendencies.
An attorney representing the hospital employees and the social worker declined to comment, citing patient privacy rules and the pending litigation. The behavioral center denied it was negligent in a response to a previous version of the complaint.
The lawsuit was filed by Michael Taylor, administrator of Jasper Taylor's estate, and Arryiss Richardson, on behalf of Tammy Cox, Michael Cox and a minor child. It combines and replaces two civil actions brought earlier.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com