LARNED – The Pawnee County Attorney's office filed attempted murder charges Tuesday against two individuals in connection with patient-on-patient attacks Oct. 22 at Larned State Hospital.
Two patients in the Isaac Ray Building on the LHS campus sustained “great bodily harm” requiring transport to outside medical facilities, including one person with life-threatening head injuries, stated Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett in a news release.
Anthony Ruiz-Hernandez, 22, of Topeka, is charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of aggravated battery.
Andres Gustavo Barrientos, 24, of Leavenworth, is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery.
McNett also filed the attempted murder and conspiracy charges in the alternative, allowing a jury or the court to consider the lesser charge of aggravated battery, causing great bodily harm, since first-degree murder requires the pre-meditated intent to kill, the prosecutor said.
Additional details on the attack and the names of the victims were not released.
Hernandez is currently housed in the Shawnee County Adult Detention Center. His first appearance is set for 1:30 p.m., Dec. 19. Barrientos is at the Leavenworth County Jail pending his first appearance 1:15 p.m., Dec. 13.
Both suspects were at Larned on mental competency issues.
Ruiz-Hernandez was ordered there in July for an evaluation and then a subsequent 90 days treatment. Mental competency is an issue of being mentally capable of understanding charges against him and assisting in his defense, not a mental illness.
Ruiz-Hernandez has charges pending in two separate cases out of Topeka for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, one form February and another from June, according to District Court records.
Barrientos has been at Larned since April. He was also found incompetent and was in treatment. He’s charged with possession of opiates, forgery and making false information in three separate cases in Leavenworth.
Special Investigator Kevin Stegman with the LSH Safety and Security Department conducted the criminal investigation into the incident, McNett said.
The last incident at LSH resulting in criminal charges associated with the death of a patient occurred March 13, 2007. A jury later found Daniel T. Cook, who argued self-defense, guilty of aggravated battery, McNett stated.