Judge Says She Did Not Involuntarily Commit Theater Gunman

The gunman responsible for last week's deadly attack in a Louisiana movie theater was delivered by deputies to hospital for a mental evaluation in 2008 after his family said he was a danger to himself and others. But the judge who ordered John Russell Houser detained said Monday that she did not have him involuntarily committed, which may explain why he was able to legally purchase the gun he used to kill two people and wound nine others before killing himself. Contrary to legal filings by Houser's family, Carroll County Probate Judge Betty Cason said she did not order Houser to be involuntarily committed for mental health treatment at the West Central Regional Hospital in Columbus, Georgia, which is in Muscogee County, where she lacks jurisdiction. Cason told The Associated Press that doctors at the hospital would have had to petition that county's probate judge for such a commitment, so it wouldn't have come through her.