Man held at state hospital after Macon slaying could be released

awomack@macon.comFebruary 19, 2014 

It’s possible that a man who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in his father’s shooting death could be released from a state psychiatric hospital despite having a prior history of committing crimes upon release.

Kelly Forehand, 46, initially was charged with murder in the May 30, 2007, death of his father, 71-year-old Louie Ellis Forehand.

He admitted to authorities that he shot his father several times at his Rivoli Drive home, using one of his father’s guns, and then sold the gun for drugs.

Since entering his plea in 2008, closing the criminal case, Forehand has been held at Central State Hospital, where he’s been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and received treatment.

His doctors testified at a Wednesday Bibb County Superior Court hearing that he no longer meets the criteria for in-patient commitment at the facility.

Prosecutor Nancy Scott Malcor argued against Forehand’s release.

Norris Currence, a forensic psychologist who has treated Forehand, said Forehand has been “behaviorally and emotionally stable” for two years. His condition has been successfully treated with medication, Currence said.

Currence said there’s a “low risk” for Forehand committing future violent acts as long as he takes his medication and doesn’t use illegal drugs.

Currence and Lisa Long, another psychologist who has treated Forehand, recommended he be placed on conditional release in a group home with 24-hour supervision where he’s subject to drug testing. If Forehand violates terms of his release, he will be subject to arrest.

As part of the prosecution’s case, Chris Forehand testified that his brother has been “in and out” of both court-ordered and private treatment facilities since he was in his 20s.

He was committed following a theft arrest in 1992 and again in 1997 after assaulting his father, Forehand testified.

Each time he was released, he resumed using drugs, Forehand said.

Forehand said his brother has walked off from group homes in the past. His father would take him home and supervise him, making him take his medication.

Now, there’s no one in the family who’s willing and able to provide that help, he said.

Bibb County Superior Court Judge Tripp Self instructed Forehand’s doctors to pick the specific home where Forehand will be placed and to tailor a conditional release plan to his needs. Once the plan is complete, Self said he will hold another hearing, which may include testimony from workers at the group home about what type of supervision Forehand would receive.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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