A man who shot two eighth-graders at Deer Creek Middle School in 2010 and was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity, will not be allowed to leave the Colorado Mental Health Institute’s grounds without supervision, according to a Jefferson County District Court ruling.
The institute, in December, filed a plea on behalf of Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood, seeking the court’s approval for him to leave the grounds of the state hospital without staff supervision.
Eastwood was sentenced indefinitely to the institute, in Pueblo, after being found not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder on Oct. 5, 2011. He had been charged with four counts of attempted murder after shooting two eighth-graders at the middle school he had attended as a student.
As part of the filing, Eastwood hoped “to find part-time employment; volunteer at the Friendly Harbor Drop-In Center and visit with his mother.” He requested to spend three or four “overnight” visits annually at his mother’s home.
The court found “significant concerns” in the request, including insufficient safeguards. “The court is concerned that the institute has not maintained a consistent line of communication with employers in the past.”
The denial was signed Friday by District Judge Laura A. Tighe.
As part of the process, the court also found issue with Eastwood, 40, visiting with his mother, who had given him a book on the Columbine High School massacre, while at the institute, without notifying his treatment providers.
“While it appears the defendant’s mother had good intentions in giving this book to her son — she wanted him to see he was different from the Columbine shooters — the court finds it extremely troubling she did not consult” with treatment providers “before giving her son something that could potentially trigger severe symptoms.”
The court also noted Eastwood’s “troubled history with his mother,” including allegations that she kicked him as a child and attempted to stab him with scissors when he was 24 years old. Eastwood’s mother did not seek help for him when he “first told her of his hallucinations in 2002,” according to the court document.