MALONE -- An appeal was denied for a Lake Titus man who wanted the state appellate court to overturn his institutionalization following an ax attack.

Eric Jeror, now 22, pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect in October 2005.

Through defense attorney Joseph Nichols, Jeror said he did not know what he was doing on Jan. 15, 2005, when he struck his father in the head with an ax at the family home at 12653 Route 30.

Keith Jeror, 52, has since recovered from his injuries.

A hearing was ordered to learn if Eric suffers from a dangerous mental disease.

District Attorney Derek Champagne had to demonstrate that Jeror was dangerous to himself or others.

That proof could include prior violent behavior, substance abuse or dangerous activities following his release or termination of psychiatric treatment or failure to take prescribed medications that control his violent tendencies.

The district attorney presented photographs of his father's injuries, police reports, opinions from two psychiatrists and reports that Eric Jeror was physically violent with a former girlfriend and his parents and often didn't take his medicines.

A report from another psychologist speaking for the defense said Jeror suffers from bipolar illness and needs treatment for that, but he is at no risk for repeated homicidal behavior.

CLAIMS DENIED

Jeror was committed to the custody of the state commissioner of mental health on March 6, 2006, when a hearing determined he suffered from a dangerous mental disorder.

He was to be re-evaluated after six months to see whether his mental state had changed or if another year of treatment is recommended.

But before the six months was up, Jeror appealed his institutionalization, claiming the court did not require the district attorney's witnesses be qualified as experts, which makes their testimony suspect.

The court turned down that argument, saying the defense stipulated that the reports be accepted into evidence. He did not validate the content of those reports or their conclusions.

Jeror also claimed he had inadequate counsel.

But the Appellate Court denied that claim as well, saying Nichols conducted lengthy examinations of witnesses and made a persuasive summation on his client's behalf.

MEDICATION

The original commitment order expired in September 2006, but no re-evaluation could take place until the appeal was heard and ruled upon.

A grand jury had indicted Jeror in September 2005 on charges of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree attempted assault.

Jeror had been prescribed twice the recommended dosage of the powerful anti-depressant Effexor, which is not supposed to be given to teens.

His mother, Lori Jeror, said Eric told her that, when his father got home that day, he would kill him. When Mr. Jeror arrived, she heard Eric go outside and return, then heard three thuds from the kitchen.

She ran there, saw Eric with an ax, then ran past her husband, who was "bleeding profusely."

Eric caught her in the front yard and said, "I don't want to hurt you, Mom," as he dragged her back toward the house.

Suddenly he stopped, dropped the ax and said, "Mom, I love you. I don't know what happened."

She told investigators her son "just seemed to snap out of it."

draymo@pressrepublican.com

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