Accused mass shooter committed to psychiatric hospital - CBS46 News

Accused mass shooter committed to psychiatric hospital

Posted: Updated:
Jaider Marulanda Jaider Marulanda
Roberto Gonzalez Roberto Gonzalez
Van Springer Van Springer
Zach Werner Zach Werner

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds announced that a man charged with killing four people and wounding a fifth person in a 2010 mass shooting has been involuntarily committed to a prison psychiatric hospital.

Jesse James Warren, now 67, of Temple, is charged with using a 9mm handgun when he opened fire at the Penske truck-leasing facility in Kennesaw on the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2010.

Three men – Van Springer, Jaider Marulanda and Roberto Gonzalez – were killed that day or in the hours that followed, while a fourth man, Zachariah Werner, succumbed to his injuries in July 2013. Another victim, Joshua Holbrook, was seriously injured in the shooting but survived.

When he was arrested a short time after the attack, Warren had two firearms in his possession. More than 120 firearms were later found at his residence.

As the case has progressed, psychiatrists determined that Warren is not competent to stand trial and testified that he refuses to take anti-psychotic medications. In 2014, the court ordered that Warren be forcibly medicated in an effort to restore his competency at the State’s request, but that ruling was overturned by the Georgia Supreme Court in 2015 despite the State’s efforts to defend its motion.

This morning, two forensic psychiatrists from Georgia Regional Hospital testified that Warren still refuses medication for his delusional disorder and that he is a danger to the community. The doctors testified that Warren continues to believe that he invented wi-fi for the military and was paid $500 million by the government, and that Penske stole much of that money.

The doctors testified that he also believes his defense attorneys and at times, the doctors, are working against him. Warren perceives threats where there are none and could react violently to those perceived threats without the structure and security of a hospital setting, they testified.

One doctor testified that Warren has suffered delusions since at least 2005, when he was first diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Warren’s defense team, led by Gerald Word and Jimmy Berry, offered no rebuttal evidence and did not object to the state’s request for civil commitment. The defense did enter into evidence several documents relating to the defendant’s history and his beliefs.

Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark reviewed all of the documents before signing the order to commit Warren to a secure state prison hospital indefinitely. His psychiatrist will report to the court at least once each year regarding Warren’s mental condition.

Chief ADA Jesse Evans responded to the “surreal” scene at the Penske facility on the day of the attack in 2010. The State had sought the death penalty in this case, and Evans acknowledges this is not the final resolution he would have liked.

“However, we take some solace in the fact that Mr. Warren will be locked up in a prison hospital and not able to inflict these kinds of harms on anyone else,” Evans told the court.

Victim Joshua Holbrook, who was recently re-hospitalized due to ongoing complications from his injuries, wrote to the court that despite his rough road to recovery, he seeks to inspire others to do the impossible. He also vowed not the let the memories of his fallen friends fade away.

The court also heard from Jaider Marulanda’s widow and his daughter. Erika Marulanda was newly engaged when her father was murdered, robbing her of the chance to have him walk her down the aisle.

“I didn’t know I wouldn’t get to make any more memories with him,” she said, recalling a road trip as he helped her move to New York to attend medical school.

Warren, who has been in custody since his arrest the day of the attack, did not speak during today’s hearing.

Connect with CBS46