A felon in Washington with nearly two dozen prior convictions has been ordered to receive nearly $37,000 from the state because he has been detained in jail rather than a mental health facility while he awaits trial for three more felony charges, including first-degree murder.
Alexander Jay, 40, a homeless man who was residing in Seattle, allegedly assaulted two women and killed a man within a 12-hour period earlier this year. On March 3, Jay supposedly stabbed one unidentified woman at a bus stop after he repeatedly threw another woman, reportedly a nurse, down the stairs at the Union Station stop of the Seattle light rail. CCTV captured that attack on video.
**Warning: disturbing **
Hours after this vicious attack, Jay supposedly beat Brent Wood, 31, to death.
The "nurse" victim later identified Jay as her attacker, and he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree assault for the three incidents.
In April though, the cases against him became more complicated. A judge ruled that Jay was incompetent to stand trial for the two assault charges, and then a judge ordered that Jay be placed in a mental health facility for three months, rather than jail, so that he could better understand the charges leveled against him. It is unclear whether the same judge or two different judges issued those rulings.
Despite the court order, Jay remained in jail because there was no bed available at a mental health facility, the state Department of Social and Health Services stated. Because he did not receive the court-ordered services, another judge ordered that DSHS pay Jay $250 for each day he remains in jail. As a bed at Western State Hospital is expected to become available on October, Jay is slated to receive a total of $36,750.
Woods's family and DSHS have both slammed the decision.
"It’s ridiculous," said Nathan Wood, Brent Wood's younger brother. "It’s not right. He shouldn’t be getting money."
The DSHS argued that such "compensatory sanctions" actually punish the victims under DSHS's care.
"We believe these fines take money out of the very system that is designed to help them and provide them services," a department statement reads.
Should a judge rule that Jay is entitled to the money, Jay will not be issued a check himself. Rather, a "protective payee or agreed responsible adult" will act as steward of the funds on Jay's behalf.
A court has not yet determined whether Jay is competent to stand trial for the murder of Woods.
Jay has already been convicted of 22 crimes, including first-degree theft, domestic violence, possession of a controlled substance, and burglary. It is unclear why a criminal with such a lengthy, violent rap sheet would have been released from prison.
To date, Washington has shelled out nearly $100,000 to other suspects who, like Jay, did not receive mental health services while awaiting trial. It is slated to shell out nearly $90,000 more, including Jay's share.