Slaying suspect will go to Oregon State Hospital

Slaying suspect will go to Oregon State Hospital »Play Video
Brent Redd, second from left, enters court for his plea and sentencing hearing in St. Helens, Ore., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Redd, accused of stabbing his caseworker, Jennifer Warren, to death, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to up to life in the Oregon state hospital. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

ST. HELENS, Ore. — A man charged with killing a mental health worker in May pleaded guilty except for insanity Tuesday and is expected to be sent to the Oregon State Hospital.

Brent Redd, 31, stabbed Jennifer Warren when she delivered medicine to his apartment in St. Helens.

Redd pleaded guilty except for insanity in 2007 after he was accused of trying to kill his mother in 2005.

He was sent to the Oregon State Hospital for three years, until the Psychiatric Security Review Board deemed him eligible for release sent him to Columbia Community Mental Health in 2010, a community mental health program in St. Helens.

He was transferred from restrictive 24-hour supervision to his own duplex in 2011. On May 20, 2012, Warren stopped in to deliver Redd's medications and he stabbed her to death.

Redd appeared in court Tuesday with a shaved head and long beard. He cried throughout the 20-minute hearing. Warren's mother, Theresa Armstrong, wept and then addressed Redd.

"There is a hole in my heart," she said, and added, "May God have mercy on your soul."

Armstrong told KATU News that she's still dumbfounded by her daughter's death.

"Especially when I'm in St. Helens," she said. "It's true because she's nowhere to be seen."

The only visible reminder of Jennifer is a memorial bench outside Columbia County Mental Health.

Armstrong is pushing to fix safety policies so that no one else feels her pain.

"They didn't train Jennifer what to do when somebody's coming at you with a knife," Armstrong said. "Change policy right now and let the community know you have their best interest at heart and the mental health people you're supposed to take care of."

Safety policies for caseworkers are currently left up to providers. The Oregon Association of Community Mental Health Programs has a list of suggested improvements, including having employees work in pairs in high-risk situations and providing them with cell phones.

Redd suffers from psychosis as a result of schizophrenia. He has been evaluated four times by state psychiatrists, most recently in January.

Redd's attorney, John Sweeney, said "Mr. Redd conveys his sympathy and remorse."

Psychiatrists found that Redd either couldn't understand that his behavior was criminal or was unable to control his actions.

Under the terms of the sentence imposed Tuesday by Judge Steven Reed, the state Psychiatric Security Review Board can keep him in the hospital for the rest of his life.

The 10-member board, appointed by the governor, has authority over people found guilty except for insanity in Oregon.

Under the terms of Redd's original 2007 conviction for attempted murder of his mother, he was sentenced to up to 20 years under the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board.