CINCINNATI: A Southwest Ohio man found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2009 slayings of three family members will be allowed to leave an institution to shop, dine and visit the graves of those he killed.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Beth Myers recently granted the additional privileges to Timothy Sturgel based on recommendations from doctors treating him. They said they thought it would be helpful in Sturgel’s treatment and wouldn’t endanger the public. He will be supervised while in public.
“We think that it would increase some of Mr. Sturgel’s self-esteem and socialization, developing more contacts,” said Dr. Indre Rukseniene, a psychiatrist.
Sturgel fatally shot his 51-year-old father, Jerry; 40-year-old stepmother, Mary; and 13-year-old stepsister, Emily Hurst, on Jan. 24, 2009. He then set fire to the Cincinnati-area home he shared with them. Police said he had a 9 mm gun and was in the front yard holding a rifle when they arrived at the scene.
“Everyone is dead,” police quoted him as saying.
Sturgel, 26 years old at the time, was found by the court to be so mentally ill that he couldn’t be held criminally responsible for his actions, and he was sent to mental health treatment. He has been at Summit Behavioral Healthcare.
Psychologist Michael Borack told the judge that Sturgel should have the opportunity to go to the cemetery and grieve the loss of his family members.
“Although it was at his own hand, this was definitely a personal loss for him as well,” Borack said.
His case is reviewed by a judge every two years.