Man who stabbed Carson City deputy ordered to mental illness treatment
Michael Cruz, who stabbed a Carson sheriff’s deputy in the head, was ordered to a mental illness treatment program on Monday.
Deputy Chris Rivera was cut on the head and face after he approached Cruz in August 2017. Rivera told District Judge Bill Maddox he wanted Cruz put into a controlled situation or prison.
A comprehensive mental health evaluation by Serenity of Carson City recommended a residential placement program for Cruz.
But District Attorney Jason Woodbury and Maddox said the problem is those types of residential programs just don’t exist in Carson City.
“What frustrates me is there aren’t the resources available; that’s just Nevada,” said Maddox.
He said because of Cruz’s mental health issues, he doesn’t think sending him to prison would accomplish anything.
“I would like to have some mental health place to put him,” he said.
Rivera objected to the idea of sending Cruz to Serenity saying that effectively just puts him back on the street where, he predicted, he would just get into trouble with some other law enforcement officer again.
He pointed out the Serenity report, “said he needed to be housed, needed to be medicated.”
He said Cruz hasn’t been a problem during the 612 days he has been in the jail because he’s medicated.
Maddox told him since Cruz has already served more than 600 days in jail, if he sent him to prison on the recommended 48-120 month sentence for battery with a deadly weapon, he would likely be released from prison pretty quickly without a requirement he get mental health counseling and treatment.
“He’s not going to get rehabilitation in prison,” he said. “At least if I put him in Serenity, we’ve got some monitoring.”
Maddox ruled Cruz guilty of battery but mentally ill, suspended the 48-120 month sentence and ordered him to attend Serenity for counseling at least twice a week. Maddox said if Serenity officials find he’s not attending or not taking his medication, they should report that to Parole and Probation.
“Mr. Cruz, you have some mental health issues which you don’t seem to want to admit,” Maddox said. “You need to address your mental health problems because ignoring them isn’t going to help. If not you’ll end up in prison.”
Cruz will live with his grandmother in Carson City.