Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliot said his hands were tied by an "absurd law" and will consider modifying conditions for nursing home care for a man who was charged with murder.
Man facing murder charge is in nursing facility
At a court hearing Friday morning, Elliot denied turning Earl Bradford Postelle over to the Oak Hills Living Center in Jones after his previous order placing Bradford there had been violated.
Postelle is back in the Oklahoma County jail awaiting the judge's decision on his permanent placement.
The judge called for the emergency hearing after he was notified late on Thursday that Bradford was taken out of Oak Hills to a hospital and left unattended. Elliot had ordered when placing Bradford at the nursing facility he would have to be notified if Bradford needed to be moved from the facility for any reason.
An attorney for the nursing home told the judge Bradford had a seizure and needed to be taken to a hospital. They tried to contact the sheriff's office and Bradford's attorney but neither was available.
However, after doctors treated Bradford, he was released and sat unattended at the hospital for several hours, a violation of Elliot's order.
At the hearing, Bradford's attorney Perry Hudson told the judge he sent the order to the court clerk and the sheriff's office, but did not send the order with the judge's instructions on notification for movement to the nursing home.
The District Attorney's office also failed to notify the nursing home.
The parties will meet next Friday to determine Bradford's permanent placement.
All sides were frustrated with the state law that limits their options. Since Bradford has been found incompetent to stand trial for the Memorial Day murder of four people two years ago, he cannot be put in jail. But there are few rules as to where to place defendants who fit that category.
Elliot said he now had to deal with the "absurdity of the statute." - Scott Cooper