By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A Dubois man accused of gouging out the eyes of a Riverton woman who later died has been released to the care of his wife.
Patrick Lee Rose was ordered released from the Wyoming State Hospital in June by a circuit court judge who found Rose was not competent to stand trial in the Thanksgiving Day assault on a fellow patient at Lander SageWest Health Care.
“(The) defendant shall be released from custody at the Wyoming State Hospital and the Fremont County Detention Center and into the care and custody of his wife …” said the order issued by Circuit Judge Robert Denhardt.
According to law enforcement reports, Rose had been in the hospital room next to that of Elaine Tillman when he ran into her room and gouged out one of her eyes in the attack. She died about two weeks later in Salt Lake City.
After being taken into custody in the attack, Rose was sent to the Wyoming State Hospital for evaluation.
“The report (from the Wyoming State Hospital) finds that the defendant cannot be restored to competency, not due to a treatable mental condition, but rather due to a traumatic brain injury suffered by (Rose) several years ago,” the order said.
The order said Rose was “not fit to proceed” with prosecution and added it was unlikely Rose would become fit to proceed in the future.
Tillman’s family is suing SageWest in U.S. District Court over the incident, alleging Rose was insufficiently restrained and supervised when the assault occurred and that Rose had shown dangerous and violent tendencies.
The hospital, in a response filed earlier this week, said Rose had not shown any dangerous or violent tendencies and that he was properly supervised and monitored during his stay.
In addition, the hospital is not equipped to restrain patients, the response said.
“SageWest is not a jail and does not handcuff or leg shackle patients,” it said. “(Rose) made no violent threats against Mrs. Tillman and had not previously acted in an aggressive or violent manner toward anyone … during his approximate 32-hour stay at SageWest-Lander. The actions of (Rose) were sudden, unexpected, and unforeseeable.”