NAPA (BCN) — A Napa State Hospital patient was declared mentally incompetent Tuesday to stand trial on charges of assaulting a hospital therapist last month.

The ruling by Napa County Superior Court Judge Mark Boessenecker means Sean Bouchie, 24, will return to court Feb. 1 so it can be determined where he will be housed and treated to restore his competence. The judge suspended criminal proceedings against Bouchie.

Deputy District Attorney Lance Hafenstein said Bouchie will remain in the Napa County jail until his next court date. The Napa County Health and Human Services’ Department of Mental Health will make a recommendation where Bouchie should be housed, Hafenstein said.

“Any state hospital is a possibility, but there are safety concerns with Napa State Hospital,” Hafenstein said.

Bouchie was charged with assaulting 60-year-old George Anderson, a rehabilitation therapist, at Napa State Hospital on Dec. 11. Anderson suffered fractures but has been released from the hospital.

The assault was reported less than two months after psychiatric technician Donna Gross, 44, of Concord, was killed in an enclosed courtyard at the hospital on Oct. 23. She was employed for 14 years at Napa State Hospital.

The Napa County Sheriff’s Office said Gross was robbed of $2 and jewelry and was strangled.

Her accused killer, Richard Massey, 37, a patient at the hospital, is scheduled to appear in Napa County Superior Court on Jan. 25 for the setting of a preliminary hearing.

Bouchie could be treated in a mental health hospital for up to three years, Hafenstein said. If he is still incompetent then, the judge could dismiss the case against Bouchie, or a conservator could be appointed for him, Hafenstein said.

If he is found competent to stand trial and participate in his defense, a new preliminary hearing date on the two assault charges will be set, he said. One of the assault charges alleges great bodily injury.

There will be periodic reports on Bouchie’s progress and another report on his competence after 18 months, Hafenstein said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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