Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Suspect in Jail Murder Case Undermedicated at Time of Murder

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 4:29 PM

Branden Roth, 24, was found beaten and strangled to death in his Pima County jail cell earlier this year. Recently-filed court documents show the murder suspect, King Yates, was undermedicated at the time, for a previously diagnosed psychotic disorder. - COURTESY BRANDEN ROTH'S FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Courtesy Branden Roth's Facebook page
  • Branden Roth, 24, was found beaten and strangled to death in his Pima County jail cell earlier this year. Recently-filed court documents show the murder suspect, King Yates, was undermedicated at the time, for a previously diagnosed psychotic disorder.

A Pima County jail inmate who allegedly killed his cellmate was undermedicated at the time of his cell mate’s death.

Branden Roth was found beaten and strangled to death, locked in a cell with King Yates, who was unharmed, on the morning of April 19.

Yates was awaiting trial for the murder of his wife Cassandra Yates. Roth had recently plead guilty to trafficking in stolen property for stealing a diagnostic tool from BrakeMax, which he pawned for a few hundred dollars.

In December 2015, Yates was found incompetent to stand trial on felony drug charges and was court ordered to take medication to restore him to competency. He was evaluated by Dr. Michael Christiansen, who diagnosed him with “Bipolar I Disorder vs Schizoaffective Disorder with Narcissistic personality traits,” according to court records.

The courts ordered Yates take a daily 700 mg of Seroquel to control psychosis. Christiansen said the medication was “ESSENTIAL in sustaining competency to stand trial. “Essential” was in all caps.

At the time of Roth’s murder, the jail was only giving Yates 225 mg of Seroquel. The jail’s medical records don’t give a reason for the lower dosage, according to court records. The day after Roth’s death, jail staff increased Yates’ medication to 400 mg.

An independent contractor, overseen by the county's behavioral health department, is responsible for deciding inmates’ medication dosages, according to the county's Public Communications Manager, Mark B. Evans

Since this new information came to light, prosecutors have withdrawn their intention to seek the death penalty.

Yates has a history of behavioral health issues. Court documents show that when he allegedly shot his wife, he told a friend, only minutes after the murder, that Cassandra had been trying to kill him. Yates’ public defender in that case told the courts she does not believe he was medicated at the time of the murder.

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Give Money to a Public School, Get It All Back

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 2:17 PM

COURTESY OF PHOTOSPIN
  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin
It's time to give money to a public school — $200 for an individual, $400 for a couple — and get 100 percent of it back at tax time. It won't cost you a penny. It's a tax credit, meaning you deduct it from the total you owe the state. If, for example, you do your taxes and find you owe the state $950, subtract your tax credit from that amount, and that's how much you'll pay. If you gave $400, you'll only pay $550. See? No cost to you.

So, who can you give the money to? Any district or charter school. You can even divvy your credit up among a number of schools.

What is the money used for? Schools can only use it for extracurricular or character education programs, not for classroom-based education. I don't much like that restriction, but that's the way the law was written. Still, lots of important education and recreation happens in schools outside the classroom—sports, music, art, science, field trips, clubs. Especially in schools with lots of children from low income families, the donations can be the difference between the kids participating or being left out.

How do you give? Most school districts have a link on their website's home page which has all the information you need. You can pay online with a credit card or download a form and mail in a check.

How do you choose the school or schools to give your money to? The answer is probably easy for people whose children are in school. For everyone else, my suggestion is, give it to school with lots of low income students. If parents and community members pay little or no state taxes because they don't make much money, they can't take advantage of the credit, which means their schools don't get a whole lot of this extra money, while schools in more affluent areas get many times more.

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Staff Pick

A Christmas Carol & Dickens Festival

A Southern Arizona holiday tradition. This celebrated musical theatre production of the timeless classic captivates audiences with… More

@ Berger Performing Arts Center Fridays-Sundays, 7-10 p.m. Continues through Dec. 16 1200 W. Speedway Blvd.

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