Man released from jail for reason of insanity, never made it to treatment facility

POSTED: Friday, June 17, 2011 - 4:16pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

MCLENNNAN COUNTY -- A man with a history of serious mental illness and arrests is now walking free after he was released from McLennan County Jail by accident.

46-year-old Ronald McConnell was in jail for evading arrest, but Judge Ralph Strother ruled he was not guilty by reason of insanity.

He was supposed to go to a state mental facility for treatment of schizophrenia, but he never made it there.

Because of a mix up at McLennan County Jail, McConnell was released without going to the treatment center.

Fox 44 spoke with the evaluating Psychiatrist on this case, Dr. Stephen Mark.

He says this isn't the first time McConnell was in jail. After being sent to a treatment center in Austin in February, Dr. Mark says McConnell was uncooperative with treatment. The mental facility petitioned the judge to have him sent back for help, but the judge denied the petition.

Dr. Mark says once he was on the streets again, McConnell was arrested in McLennan County for evading arrest.  

"Anybody who is sent off to a state psychiatric hospital from the jail, there is a fear that they might hurt themselves or someone else," said Dr. Mark. "I believe it has happened before here, and it's just kind of sad and I hope it can be fixed."

Sheriff Larry Lynch did not return calls on the situation.

McConnell is believed to be in New York. Once police find him, Dr. Mark anticipates he will be sent back to McLennan County for treatment.


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