A year and a half ago, that was the scene in Admiral before police arrested Kierra M. Ward, 27, after she attacked a woman who was walking along the street with her baby. Today, the case against Ward was resolved with a ruling that she was not guilty by reason of insanity, and she has been committed to Western State Hospital. Ward had been charged with two counts of assault – first degree for attacking the mother (who was seriously hurt; her baby was unharmed) and second degree for threatening a man who came to the victim’s rescue. Last July, Ward was found not competent to stand trial and sent to Western State Hospital for attempted restoration of competency; in December, we reported, she was found competent, and her lawyer indicated the insanity defense would be pursued. With today’s ruling, according to court documents, Ward acknowledges committing the crimes but is acquitted because, the court finds, she “was insane at the time of the commission of the act(s) charged.” The order finds that “detention in a state mental hospital” is called for because she is a danger to herself and others. What the documents don’t say is how long that commitment might last or what the criteria would be for its end, so we’ll be following up.
West Seattle, Washington