“Obviously, based upon what I know and what the evidence is with regard to his treatment, it’s absolutely the right thing to do,” Bernie Davis said. “There’s no question about that. He was ready to go probably a year or two ago.”
Richland County Common Pleas Judge James Henson issued his ruling in writing after visiting Heartland Behavioral Healthcare in Massillon. Since the fall of 2008, Evans has been housed at the Timothy B. Moritz Unit in Columbus, the only maximum-security mental health facility in the state.
Evans, 44, was found not guilty by reason of insanity of 19 charges, including two counts of aggravated murder, for a Dec. 26, 2007, shooting outside his Epworth residence. The victims were his brother, Mansfield police Officer Brian Evans, and his neighbor, Robert L. Houseman. Evans has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
A five-day hearing on whether Evans should be moved took place this spring in Henson’s court. The judge said he does not think Evans is well.
“The evidence introduced at the hearing makes the point clearly that Mr. Evans is and remains a seriously mentally ill individual subject to hospitalization,” Henson wrote. “It is equally clear that the staff at Moritz has done all it is willing or capable of doing in the treatment of Mr. Evans.”
Kim Adkins, Larry’s sister, and Crystal Evans, his niece, reacted to the ruling in an email to the News Journal.
“We would like everyone to know this decision to move Larry doesn’t mean he’s getting better. The judge is fully aware of how dangerous Larry is and also that the treatment team at Moritz was incapable to treating Larry properly,” they wrote. “We know the judge is on our side and will do everything he can to keep the community safe. Maybe Heartland will realize there’s no treatment for evil, which is what (Larry) is.”
Nicole Crank, one of Houseman’s daughters, did not agree with the ruling.
“It’s a bunch of bullcrap,” she said. “I don’t know how the judge can say he’s still a threat but can go to a less restrictive facility.”
Heartland has five levels of movement. Evans will be in Level 1, the most restrictive. He will be in a locked unit.
If staff members at Heartland recommend Evans eventually be moved to a different level, another hearing would take place before Henson.
“In Larry’s case, the judge has a lifetime tail on him,” Davis said. “The judge has control of Larry Evans for the rest of his life.”
Carolyn Evans, Larry’s wife, and their two daughters have stood behind him.
“The girls and I are very, very happy,” she said. “We’re just glad that the judge made the right decision.”
Carolyn Evans said she talks to her husband two or three times a day and tries to visit him at least every other week.
“He’s doing wonderful,” she said. “He’s a good person. A tragic thing happened.
“We hope to have him home with us someday, and we can be a family again.”
Crank said she fears that reality.
“Me and my family are all scared,” she said. “He’s going to get out. Everything’s going in his favor.
“The justice system has really let us down.”
I have to agree with the families of the deceased, this is an OUTRAGE!!!, and I find it hard to believe Henson is behind it!
This sounds more like something DeWeese or Ault would do.
What others are saying (who can comment)…
He kills a policemen a father too his children want their father and he kills another father and they want their father.sorry this is not fair justice
He should pay not the other families not good justice.
N’T CARE ABOUT THE VICTIM. THATS BERTIE ONE & TWO & YOU NO IT’S TRUE THIS WORLD IN GOING TO HELL IN A HAND BASKET ENJOY THE RIDE YOU WON’T LIKE THE FIRE DOWN BELOW. MY PRAYER IS FOR THE FANILY. GOD BLESS YOU