Free man held illegally behind bars - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Free man held illegally behind bars

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Billy Welbert has done his time after being arrested for criminal mischief and assault and spending time behind bars for escaping from the Department of Mental Health and assaulting several staffers there.  He should have been let out back in June.

Department of Corrections Director J.B Palacios said, "He's not an inmate, he's not a detainee, he's not an arrestee, he's a free man."  So what's such a person doing behind bars? Apparently, it's the same question DepCor officials are asking. Today Palacios filed a declaration with Mental Health Court Judge Steven Unpingco, informing him of Welbert's situation.

Even though Welbert's a free man, Palacios says his agency can't release him.  "Because the judge says we have to hold him. Until Mental Health finds a treatment facility off-island for him," the director explained.  "Mental Health is not ready to accept him or for whatever reason they don't feel he belongs at Mental Health."

Welbert pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness and should be receiving treatment at mental health not incarcerated at DepCor.  "The management team at Mental Health is not ensuring that he receives the care from their staff daily," Palacios said, adding, "It's cruel because he's in a correctional facility being incarcerated. His movements are being restricted. He's being treated as an inmate when he should be receiving care as a patient."

Welbert has informed DepCor officials that he is being held against his will and even though family members are ready to get him the help he needs, unfortunately it appears this free man will remain a prisoner of the system until the mental health court takes action.

Calls to the federal management team for comment were not returned as of news time.

 

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Athena McNinch receives Congressional Award Gold Medal

    Athena McNinch receives Congressional Award Gold Medal

    Congratulations to recent University of Guam graduate, Athena McNinch who was recognized by the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate today. She was presented the Congressional Award Gold Medal. The Congressional Award is given to young Americans, recoMore >>
    Congratulations to recent University of Guam graduate, Athena McNinch who was recognized by the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate today. She was presented the Congressional Award Gold Medal. The Congressional Award is given to young Americans, recoMore >>
  • Guam EPA getting funds beach for water quality monitoring

    Guam EPA getting funds beach for water quality monitoring

    A cut of more than $900,000 is heading our way. US EPA providing the money to Guam EPA, American Samoa EPA, and the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality in the CNMI. The funds would support beach water quality monitoring and information sharing thrMore >>
    A cut of more than $900,000 is heading our way. US EPA providing the money to Guam EPA, American Samoa EPA, and the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality in the CNMI. The funds would support beach water quality monitoring and information sharing thrMore >>
  • Could cockfighting be banned on Guam?

    Could cockfighting be banned on Guam?

    Guam is not in the clear yet on whether cockfighting will be banned here. The House of Representatives passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 or the Farm Bill today. The measure not only makes drastic cuts to SNAP or food stamp benefits but woulMore >>
    Guam is not in the clear yet on whether cockfighting will be banned here. The House of Representatives passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 or the Farm Bill today. The measure not only makes drastic cuts to SNAP or food stamp benefits but woulMore >>
Powered by Frankly