Behavioral Health Court exists
to "connect criminal defendants who suffer from serious mental illness
to treatment services in the community" and "ensure public safety and
reducing recidivism and violence on re-arrest through appropriate
mental health treatment and intensive supervision." Yet, in Byrnes'
case, the District Attorney opposed a move to BHC: "The degree of
violence, and, frankly, the risk to the community is too great," said
Assistant DA and office spokesman Brian Buckelew. If the defense wanted to enter a not guilty for reasons of insanity plea, that'd be different, Buckelew continued. But the defense took another course -- and may succeed with it.
Byrnes hasn't gained entry to BHC just yet. On Tuesday he was found initially "diagnostically suitable" for the court. And tomorrow, his case will be in court again -- determining just what court will try him.