Judge says she did not involuntarily commit theater gunman
CARROLLTON, Ga. - A judge in Georgia is correcting the record about a mental health evaluation of the man who killed two people and himself inside a Louisiana movie theater last week.
The family of John Russell Houser obtained a protective order against him in 2008 after their lawyer said Houser was committed involuntarily to a hospital for mental health treatment by Carroll County Probate Judge Betty Cason.
Involuntary commitments obligate authorities to inform state and federal databases meant to keep firearms from people with serious mental illnesses.
But Cason says her 2008 order only authorized deputies to detain Houser, against his will if necessary, and take him for a mental health evaluation near his home in another county. Cason tells The Associated Press that her role ended there.
Records showed deputies did deliver Houser to the West Central Regional Hospital in Columbus, Georgia the day after the judge signed the order. It's unclear how long he remained there.