Ball throwing man likely headed to institution — (The Daily Tribune)

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The Daily Tribune

PUBLISHED: Thursday, July 12, 2007

By Stephen Frye, Journal Register News Service

PONTIAC — The undocumented immigrant who snapped inside a Royal Oak hospital and killed an elderly West Bloomfield Township woman by throwing billiard balls was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Wednesday.

Alejandro Guzman-Amezola, 33, an illegal from Mexico, will be evaluated at the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry in the next two months, before a probate judge determines what to do with him.

He likely would be placed in a psychiatric institution.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Edward Sosnick found Guzman-Amezola of Detroit not guilty of second-degree murder after receiving reports from three doctors who said the construction worker was “mentally ill” and “lacked the capacity to appreciate … the wrongness of his conduct.”

“This is a real tragedy,” Sosnick said in closing the hearing.

On Feb. 27, one day after he voluntarily admitted himself to the psychiatric unit of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Guzman-Amezola unexpectedly flew into a rage and started throwing billiard balls in the unit’s day room.

Phyllis Madgy, 76, of West Bloomfield Township, was a hospital patient, and she died about a month later from head injuries suffered during the rampage.

Guzman-Amezola committed himself when his family became concerned about his depression and anxiety following a confrontation with his employer and a brother, Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Brett Chudler said.

A doctor had prescribed medication, and Guzman-Amezola had shown no signs of being agitated at the hospital, which only accepts voluntary commitments of patients in stable condition, Chudler said. He had been cooperative and communicative.

The day of the attack, however, “He suddenly became enraged and violent,” Chudler said.

The attack left four other people injured, including hospital staff who had tried to remove Madgy from the day room.

Madgy was struck twice, breaking her jaw and causing a skull fracture. Though she had been in poor health, the Oakland County Medical Examiner ruled the pool ball attack had caused her death — making it a homicide case.