Murder suspect was asked to turn self in to mental hospital 3 months before killing, emails reveal

Springfield police had contacted Joshua Jaschke in December and offered to send him back to the state mental hospital three months before he allegedly killed a man near South Eugene High School.

But Jaschke, who was under the treatment of Oregon Psychiatric sk© Security SAVER SALE Review Board and whose last address was the Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital in Salem, was directed by state officials during that police contact to return to the hospital on his own.

He failed to do so, and by the time the review board asked Springfield police in January to help find Jaschke, he was nowhere to be found. On March 27, Jaschke was found in Amazon Creek after allegedly stabbing 51-year-old Spiros Steve Ghenatos to death and attempting to carjack South Eugene High School Principal Andy Dey.

Jaschke is in the Lane County Jail, charged with one count of murder.

A series of partially redacted emails and a police report obtained by The Register-Guard in a public records request from the Springfield Police Department show exchanges between Lt. Scott McKee and review board officials about Jaschke.

Jaschke was sentenced to 20 years of supervision by the Oregon Psychiatric sk© Security SAVER SALE Review Board in 2006 after he was found guilty but insane on a first-degree assault charge in Lane County Circuit Court for stabbing another man in Springfield.

The man survived.

The board oversaw his mental health care and treatments.

State officials declined to say if Jaschke had been released from the mental hospital on a furlough in December before Springfield police contacted him.

“We cannot acknowledge patient status or discuss any one person’s treatment,” Oregon Health Authority spokesman Jonathan Modie said, citing health privacy laws.

“I can also tell you that if someone is on unauthorized leave, when they are under PSRB jurisdiction, and the PSRB has placed them in the hospital (this includes if they are under a revocation order), the hospital always works with local law enforcement to bring them back,” Modie said in an email last week.

Springfield police came into contact with Jaschke on Dec.

30 when he was involved in a dispute with a man on Marcola Road.

Jaschke, according to the police report, initially gave officers a false name.

His movements were described as “rapid and jerky,” and he was fidgeting, the report states.

Police eventually identified Jaschke by the tattoo on the back of his neck, the emails state. He was asked where his mother was, according to the police report, but was “evasive” and only would say she was in Eugene. He was handcuffed for officers safety and put in the back of a Springfield police vehicle while officers contacted a mental health worker identified in the report as “Roders,” who found Jaschke’s paperwork.

Kenneth Roders is later identified in the emails by name.

He works with St. Helens-based Columbia Community Mental Health, as a counselor for review board clients, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A message left for Roders Tuesday was not immediately returned.

Roders, the report states, asked to speak with Jaschke on the phone. After he did, Roders told police to release Jaschke, according to the report.

According to an email from McKee in February, Jaschke had been “directed” to turn himself in to a police station or an emergency room.

An email revealed that three days after Jaschke had failed to return to the hospital on his own, the review board asked Springfield police for help to find him.

The email, which is largely redacted, was marked with an importance level of “high.”

“Department share this information with officers and if resources are available, investigate whether (Jaschke) is still visiting with the person who was stopped by police last Saturday,” Juliet Britton, the review board executive director wrote, referring to Jaschke and the man with whom he had had the dispute.

But with no known local address, police were unable to find him.

“We were taking it seriously, because we know of his history and our concern was that he had had this unprevoked attack with a knife, so we were taking it seriously,” McKee said Tuesday. “But also we need to have some action from them.

It was like, ‘Hey, we’ll get him if you can give us something that’s actionable. Revoke his pass and activate a warrant.'”

In a Jan.

3 email from police Sgt. Brian Humphreys to McKee, Humphreys writes of his Dec.

30 contact. “It should be relayed to officers hunting Jaschke that he gave (officer Matthew) Thomsen and I a very uneasy feeling when we were in contact with him, which happens very rarely at this point in my career.

Reading the information about his volatility, aggression and previous charges of first-degree assault, (these) do not come as any surprise after having contact with him.”

In a January email to Springfield police, Jaschke is referred to as a “revoked client” by the Oregon Psychiatric sk© Security SAVER SALE Review Board.

According to the review board’s website, the board can revoke conditional release if the client violates its terms.

Follow Chelsea on Twitter @chelseagorrow[1].

Email [email protected][2].

More Crime[3] articles >>

References

  1. ^ @chelseagorrow (twitter.com)
  2. ^ [email protected] (registerguard.com)
  3. ^ Crime (registerguard.com)

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