Deeds breaks silence, says "I will work for change" - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Deeds breaks silence, says "I will work for change"

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BATH COUNTY - As he continues to recover from his injuries, State Senator Creigh Deeds is breaking his silence on the tragic incident at his home last week, as well as the mental health system that he believes is "responsible".

Virginia State Police say last Tuesday, Deeds and his son Gus got into an altercation at their home in Millboro, during which Gus stabbed him multiple times in the torso and face.  Gus then shot and killed himself with a rifle.

Monday, Deeds opened up exclusively to The Recorder, which is a weekly newspaper that serves Bath and Highland Counties.

"I cry a lot," Deeds told the paper.  "I can't focus now and talk to anyone...I have very strong opinions about the Community Service Board, and feel like they are responsible.  My life's work now is to make sure other families don't have to go through what we are living."

Gus was reportedly placed under an emergency custody order (ECO) for a mental health evaluation less than 24 hours before the incident, but was released by Rockbridge Area Community Services which claims there were no available psychiatric beds nearby.  RACS won't confirm the report, originally published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but says a person can only be held under an ECO for a maximum of six hours before they must be released.  That time frame includes locating a psychiatric bed.

Deeds told The Recorder he has spoken with State Police and given them complete access to his medical records and property.

"I hope we can make a positive change as a result of this tragedy," he said to The Recorder.  "I hope the justice we can get for my son is to force change in the delivery system for mental health services.  Bath and Highland are the end of the line.  It seems inconvenient for those people to provide services here.  I have heard from people in Rockbridge about lack of services too, so I think there may be a bigger problem here.  I am alive for a reason, and I will work for change.  I owe that to my precious son."
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