U.S. News


Hospital Beds Were Available For Sen. Deeds' Son, Gus

The Washington Post reports at least three hospital beds within two hours of the Deeds home were available Monday.
Posted at 7:59 PM, Nov 20, 2013

As Virginia state police continue to investigate the attack involving Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and his son, Austin — also known as Gus — more information is coming out about the son's mental health and what took place the day before the attack.

ABC reports 24-year-old Gus went to Bath Community Hospital for a mental health evaluation Monday as the subject of an emergency custody order.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, health officials said Tuesday they couldn't locate a bed for Gus' psychiatric stay. He later returned home after his release. 

Hours after his release, Gus and his father got into an altercation, which resulted in the senator being stabbed multiple times and Gus dying of what Virginia state police say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Via WRIC)

But Tuesday's altercation could've been avoided, as The Washington Post reports hospital beds were available near Bath County Monday. 

The Post reports, "Officials with Western State Hospital in Staunton, Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg and the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville — all within two hours of Bath — confirmed Wednesday that the facilities had been in a position to accept Deeds's son but were never asked to." 

According to WRC-TV, Virginia state auditors opened an investigation looking into the claim that Gus was unable to find a room for psychiatric treatment. The station reports the same state auditors looked into Virginia's program for handling the mentally ill in 2011 and found that dozens of patients received "less treatment than necessary, in part because of a shortage of available psychiatric beds in the state." 

People close to the Deeds family have told reporters Gus and his father had a good relationship. But according to CNN, Deeds had been concerned about his son, a music major at William & Mary who recently dropped out of school. 

WRIC reports a Charlottesville hospital upgraded Sen. Deeds from fair to good condition Wednesday. Investigators are still looking into a motive for the attack.