By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Tenth District Attorney Tim Rose is asking that a 15-year-old boy charged with killing his adoptive mother and sister be returned from a treatment center in Albuquerque to the Quay County Detention Center.
Rose filed his request with District Judge Albert Mitchell to stop murder suspect Tony Day’s participation in field trips.
Rose’s motion filed Monday however, said he would be satisfied if Day continued to be treated at the Albuquerque facility without being released to attend field trips. Rose repeated earlier concerns that allowing Day to attend field trips could pose dangers to Day and the public and increase the likelihhood that Day might escape.
Day is accused of the November 2012 killings of his adoptive mother Sue Day and sister Sherry Folts. Judge Albert Mitchell denied Rose’s earlier request to reconsider authorization for Day to participate in field trips.
Mitchell said in a hearing Thursday that Day had been sent to the Sequoyah Adolescent Treatment Center for treatment.
“I’m not going to micromanage the doctors” who are treating Day, Mitchell said.
Mitchell’s view mirrored Day’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Buckels.
Buckels said the field trips aren’t “just clowning around,” and said they do not constitute a release from custody of any kind, since detainees at Sequoyah are accompanied by at least two adults at all times.
Such activity, he said, “is therapeutic enough for the mental health professionals at Sequoyah.”
About the hearing Thursday, Buckels said, “This is a matter of justification of sensitive matters for the development of a child.”
If Day were in jail, Rose said, he would not be allowed to attend field trips.
“I think this is a very unsecured situation,” Rose said.
Last week, Rose challenged Mitchell’s order authorizng the field trips.
“While these recreational activities my be appropriate for certain children that are at Sequoyah (i.e. nonviolent offenders),” Rose wrote, “(they are) certainly not appropriate for Tony Day, who brutally murdered two people and is awaiting trial and of whom we are yet to receive any information as to his mental state, dangerousness, etc.”
Rose said he is not assured there would be adequate restrictions on children “or any other measures taken to assure children …(won’t) escape or cause harm to others.”
Buckels said last week that the field trips are a part of a therapy program and indicate that detainees are “ready to graduate to different activities” as part of treatment.
He said the request to permit Day to participate in the field trips originated with Sequoyah staff.
Sequoyah’s website describes the facility as a “36-bed adolescent treatment program operating 24 hours a day in a secure setting,” and “a safety-net program that specializes in aggressive boys ages 13-17 who have the cognitive capacity to benefit from verbal therapies.”
Further, according to the website, the facility is “for treatment, not incarceration.”