Fwd: Shirley Allen Released;updates;URL's

Morgan Brown (morganbrown@hotmail.com)
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 12:37:44 PST


Hello,

Below is a forward of today's story from The State-Journal Register
for those without access to the internet but who have e-mail only.

For direct access to some of the news on Shirley Allen, her release, 
what's ahead and what lead up to this, the following are available:

http://www.sj-r.com/welcome.html

-stories provided at the above URL change daily.

-------forwarded message------- 
----- AP Wire/The State-Journal Register-----

Allen released 

By JOE MAHR
JEFFERSON ROBBINS
and LESLEY ROGERS
STAFF WRITERS 

ROBY - With an uneasy OK from prosecutors, Shirley Allen was
returned to her home Tuesday with far less uproar than the day
she was taken from it.

Christian County State's Attorney Teresa Brown agreed to a
request from Allen's attorneys to end the 51-year-old widow's
47-day stay in mental hospitals. That request followed a
psychiatrist's finding that Allen wasn't dangerous - to herself or
anyone else.

"The state's not saying she's going to be OK," Brown said. "What
we're saying is that, based on this doctor's report, it doesn't make
a whole lot of sense to continue hospitalization for her."

Regardless of prosecutors' reasoning, Allen's court-appointed
guardian Lindsey Reese was content that Allen was back home
instead of amassing more medical bills.

"She was relieved of a heavy financial burden and will be home
for the holidays," said Reese, who has estimated Allen's medical
and legal bills at roughly $50,000.

No one from Allen's family - the people who went to a judge
asking for the psychiatric evaluation in September - was notified
of her release.

"I'm very upset about this," said Byron Dugger, Allen's brother
who lives in Arkansas. "I didn't know it was going to happen.
Nobody in my family knew it was going to happen. We're not
happy about the way this was handled."

Allen was released at noon Tuesday after a morning hearing and,
after a brief stay at Reese's Taylorville office, arrived about 3 p.m.
at the single-story home in rural Roby from where she fended off
state police with a shotgun for 39 days.

"She was really happy at the decision," Reese said. "She was
really looking forward to getting home and cleaning up her house."

Reese pulled into the driveway while a second car ferried Allen to
the rear of the house. She entered quickly while Reese gave a
brief press conference.

Allen could then be seen cleaning the house, one way to save the
$2,900 estimated cost to eliminate the pepper-spray odor
lingering from the standoff.

Allen is expected to spend the next couple of days finishing
reading a large box of letters from well-wishers. Reese said she
plans to write thank-you's to most people and will use the many
canned goods and bottles of water sent by supporters.

Allen called her mother Tuesday night once she got home, said
Dugger, who plans to meet with the judge and Allen's lawyers
Thursday to find out why she was released.

"They had a good conversation, my mother said. She sounded
fine," Dugger said. ''She said she was happy to be home."

Allen did not spend her first night of freedom at home but was
planning to stay with friends to avoid the media, Dugger said.

"No trespassing" signs were posted on the front lawn and in a
window of the residence. Reese warned anyone who might
approach that he would call police and prosecute trespassers.

For a neighborhood that hosted up to 75 troopers during the
standoff, it was unusually bare of any police during the
homecoming. That's partly because sheriff's deputies didn't know
for sure that Allen was coming home until told by a reporter.

"We were totally in the dark," said investigator Bob Patrick, who
oversaw the sheriff's office Tuesday in the absence of the sheriff
and chief deputy.

Allen's shotgun and ammunition remain confiscated, according to
state police spokesman Mark McDonald. Troopers did leave
behind two pistols, one an antique, he said. Neither has
ammunition.

The surprise release follows more than a month of legal
maneuvers by Reese and defense attorney Bill Conroy of Athens.
In the latest move last week, the pair got Allen's committal case
moved to Christian County.

The case was first set in Sangamon County because Allen was
initially sent to St. John's Hospital in Springfield, but state law
allows for a transfer to the defendant's home county.

Sangamon County State's Attorney Patrick Kelley said Allen's
lawyers had asked a judge to allow her go home while the case
was in his jurisdiction, but the judge denied that motion. For one
thing, no medical authority had come forward to say that Allen
posed no threat.

"It's a different set of facts (now) from what we had here," Kelley
said.

He said one factor in the case is still on appeal to the Fourth
District Appellate Court, though that appeal may now be moot.

In Tuesday's Christian County hearing, Allen was released based
on a mental health examination by Dr. Bruce Feldman of
Springfield, who said she's not a danger to herself or others,
which is one legal guideline for being committed.

Allen's release came on the condition that she submit to an
evaluation by a court-appointed psychiatrist within 30 days.
Feldman was hired by Allen's attorneys.

And even if the court-appointed psychiatrist finds Allen perfectly
fit, she could still face jail time.

Although police have shunned the idea of criminal charges, Brown
said she's still mulling over whether to charge Allen for her actions
during the standoff. Those actions included Allen allegedly firing at
troopers three times and shooting a police dog, who survived.

Brown said a decision on criminal charges won't be made until
after the committal process.

"I'm still looking at the (police) reports right now," she said. "I
can't really say it hinges on any one thing. It's just going to be a
consideration of all the facts and circumstances."

State police took Tuesday's news in stride.

"After 47 days in a hospital under a doctor's care, it's not
surprising that her condition has improved and she was released,"
McDonald said.

"All anybody ever wanted was for Shirley to live a normal life.
Hopefully, after all this time she's spent in the hospital, she's able
to do that."

But just what kind of care Allen has received remains a mystery.
By state law, Allen can refuse treatment, something her family has
said she's done throughout her hospital stay.

Reese could not say what type of treatment she received during
the course of her hospitalization or if she is currently taking any
medication. She has taken anti-depressants in the past.

Reese said after Allen gets settled back into her home, they may
consider interviews with the media later this week.

"She's overwhelmed right now," said Reese, who expects to end
his job as Allen's legal guardian soon, possibly before her next
30-day evaluation. Reese's legal fees are paid through Allen's
estate, and he said he cannot disclose how much he is paid.

Once she was freed, Allen spent part of the day at the office
Reese shares with his father and law partner, Daniel Reese. The
elder Reese said he was amazed at the amount of media attention
paid to Allen, whom he called "a very private person."

"I told her, 'You're like Princess Diana,' " he said. "She said, 'But
Princess Diana's dead.' "


 Copyright 1997, The State Journal-Register 

--------End of forwarded message--------

and more links:

http://www.sj-r.com/news/97/12/16/h.html
-which features the Allen Press Release of 
December 16, 1997 from, I assume, the Christian County State's 
Attorney Office.

and, Roby Watch: http://www.sj-r.com/roby.html


Morgan W. Brown <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Montpelier Vermont USA
Have you visited my home page recently?
Norsehorse's Home Turf: http://members.tripod.com/~Norsehorse/









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