When convicted killer Muhammad Shabazz Ali was brought to a hospital in Dayton, OH, his behavior took a turn for the worse.
The mentally ill man started screaming and acting aggressive. He threw chairs around a secure room in Grandview Hospital.
“I want my medicine!” Ali yelled, repeatedly demanding access to pills he’d previously been prescribed.
Ominously, Ali gave hospital staff a warning – that without the right treatment, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from hurting other people.
But the psychiatrist responsible for authorizing Ali’s release didn’t know that his patient had been convicted of manslaughter nearly 30 years before.
In 1988, Muhammad Shabazz Ali had murdered his pregnant girlfriend. Found guilty and convicted of manslaughter, Ali spent almost two decades behind bars before being released from prison in 2009.
When asked whether his client had a history of assault, Ali’s social worker said “no.” Despite knowing the man’s background, the social worker withheld the information from medical staff.
Without inspecting Ali in person, psychiatrist Brent Crane let him leave the premises.
A legal complaint submitted in October claims that 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.”
Hours later, Ali returned to a home he no longer knew – unmedicated, angry, and out of control, the man allegedly killed his ex-girlfriend, Tammy Cox, as well as her son and another man. The victims were 74-year old Jasper Taylor, 53-year old Tammy Cox, and 25-year old Michael Cox.
Less than ten minutes after the killings occurred, Ali returned to the hospital he’d just left.
Police arrested the man outside.
One of the victims’ relatives launched the lawsuit, which accuses Grandview Hospital, Kettering Health Network, Day-Mont, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services of negligence. Several other defendants were named in the suit, including healthcare providers and Ali himself.
“Unfortunately, due to patient privacy rights and pending litigation, we are unable to share any information at this time,” said Charles Shane, an attorney representing Grandview and Kettering.
Ali was indicted on 24 counts in March, all of which were related to the triple-homicide.
Among the charges are six counts of aggravated murder, which would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty.
Attorneys for the accused have since entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, according to the Associated Press.