Local News

Chapel Hill Shooter Given More Freedom at Dix

Posted December 11, 2001

— A former law student confined to Dorothea Dix mental hospital since a shooting rampage in downtown Chapel Hill has been given more freedom.

On Monday, Judge Howard Manning Junior gave Wendell Williamson the right to walk from his ward to other supervised activities at the mental hospital without an escort.

Hospital staff must communicate with each other before and after he makes the trips, which can take no longer than ten minutes.

Angel Gray, a lawyer representing the state attorney general's office, says allowing Williamson the freedom to walk on the unfenced campus unsupervised presents a risk to the public.

Williamson is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who was studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995 at the time of the shootings, which left two people dead. Williamson was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.

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