State News

Judge: Hayes to Remain at Dorothea Dix Hospital

Posted September 27, 2007 5:09 p.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2007 2:09 a.m. EDT

— A judge ruled that a man who has spent almost 20 years in a state psychiatric hospital for killing four people and wounding five others in a 1988 shooting spree in Forsyth County will remain in the hospital.

Judge Steve Balog ruled Thursday that Michael Hayes will stay at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh for another year.

His attorney, Karl Knudsen, said both he and Hayes were extremely disappointed with the decision and would appeal the ruling.

However, it could be a year or more before the case goes before the Court of Appeals, opening the possibility that Hayes could be re-evaluated for release before the appeal is completed.

Hayes, 43, has been housed at Dorothea Dix since a jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity in 1989. Thursday's hearing was held to determine whether Hayes can be released from the hospital.

Several experts testified that Hayes was past the point in which many experts would consider patients ready for release.

Balog ruled that Hayes did not meet one of two conditions for release: that he's no longer mentally ill or no longer a danger to others.

The judge also ruled that Hayes should stay at Dorothea Dix at his last hearing in 2001.