Western Virginia Had No Hospital Bed for Deeds' Son
Friends recall Gus Deeds as exuberant, not troubled
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2013 7:11 AM CST
Updated Nov 20, 2013 7:59 AM CST
Virginia State police investigators surround the home of Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds in Millboro, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – Virginia State Police are still attempting to piece together exactly what happened at state Sen. Creigh Deeds' residence yesterday, but have confirmed that they "are looking at this as an attempted murder and suicide." The Times-Dispatch elaborates on its report on the mental health evaluation son Gus Deeds underwent on Monday, reporting that the exam occurred at Bath Community Hospital, and that the 24-year-old was indeed released due to the lack of an available bed—though the search for one covered a broad section of western Virginia. The director of the board that oversees the state's mental-health services explains to the Washington Post, "I can tell you right now, it was multiple hospitals that they called. That is a very rural area. The hospitals are few and far between." More updates:

  • And then there's this, from the Post: Creigh Deeds last week posted to his Facebook page a New York Times article about shortcomings in how our country cares for young people with mental-health issues. The Post notes that, six years after the massacre at Virginia Tech, the state is still struggling to adequately fund its mental-health system.
  • Police say the elder Deeds, who was yesterday afternoon upgraded to fair condition, was stabbed near a barn on the property, reports the Daily Progress. He walked about 225 feet down a steep gravel driveway to the road after being attacked, where he was spotted by a cousin driving by; it's unclear if the cousin had been contacted.
  • Gus lived at that home along with Deeds' second wife, Siobhan; the two married last year, and she was not home during the incident. The Post notes that the couple had returned to Virginia on Friday from a week-long European vacation, per Siobhan's Facebook page. Deeds had four children from his first marriage; Gus was his only son.
  • Politico notes that a firearm was found at the scene, but police aren't yet saying who it belonged to or what type it is.
  • Meanwhile, friends and classmates are stunned, and recall Gus not as troubled, but as an "exuberant and talented musician" who worked hard to make people smile, reports the Times-Dispatch. But the music major had withdrawn from William & Mary about a month ago, and his academic adviser notes that he had left school on a prior occasion due to some kind of issue. Brian Hulse says it was his understanding that Deeds got some sort of religious support that gave him "structure or whatever he needed to come back to school."

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Showing 3 of 71 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Nov 20, 2013 8:14 PM CST
Doing a paramedic ER CEU duty, you sometimes cross paths with some mental cases depending on the facility you work. For my area, if you work Saints you will come across them because they have a mental health crisis unit. Its partly funded by the state and feds and its where criminally insane people go for their first evaluation. It is also sometimes referred to as the county mental health unit. Its as close as it gets to the Good Humor squad if you remember that inference. Sometimes, due mainly to full moon, it goes to level zero. Once county calls a level zero for it, then we must send intake to the state mental hospital in Norman. its as close to a loonie bin as you can get. Back in the 40's, its what you would call a snake pit. It still exists as a state funded mental unit but has way less bed space than it had in the glory days.
Texas1
Nov 20, 2013 12:34 PM CST
You can thank all the libs and bleeding hearts. For the mental health problems of today. I used to work with mental health homes run by states. Everything was pretty good. Until the libs and bleeding hearts. Got court orders to set all the inmates free. I saw it happen more than once. Bring in a bus,load people up and take them to a town and drop them off. I said something about this to a lib. All he could say was it doesn't matter if they have no place to go. They are free. Three of them were killed the first week.
Barbs1133
Nov 20, 2013 12:13 PM CST
Mental health conditions are illnesses not a life choice. The US must start to fund mental health care and I suggest they close down most of the DEA (only use the DEA for suppression of meth) and use that money to implement care across the country.