- Mark Gokavi Staff Writer
The Dayton man facing a death-penalty murder trial for killing three people was improperly discharged from health care facilities due to negligence, according to claims in an amended wrongful death lawsuit brought by administrators of the victims’ estates.
Muhammad Shabazz Ali, 62, was indicted on 29 counts — including six for aggravated murder — for the Aug. 10, 2016 shooting deaths of 74-year-old Jasper Taylor, 53-year-old Tammy Cox and 25-year-old Michael Cox inside 35 Oxford Ave. in Dayton.
Ali has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. No trial date has been set.
Ali — who police and court reports indicate used to be named Robert Ford Jr. — served more than two decades in prison for voluntary manslaughter after he was convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend.
Ali allegedly shot to death the three people around 3 p.m. Aug. 10, 2016, hours after he was released from Grandview Hospital, according to police. Ali had been taken to Grandview by Dayton police, who “pink-slipped” him so he could get in-patient treatment. Police use so-called pink slips when they believe a suspect needs a mental health evaluation.
According to police reports, police had responded to a 911 call the morning of Aug. 10, 2016 from Day-Mont Behavioral Center when workers there said Ali was throwing chairs and repeatedly yelling, “I want my medication!”
In the pink slip written by police and included as an exhibit in the lawsuit, Dayton police wrote, “Ali stated he needed his medicine so he doesn’t hurt himself or others.”
According to the amended complaint that includes some of Ali’s medical history, social worker Jeannie Dobrovolc wrote in a consultation note to the psychiatrist on call that Ali had no assault history.
According to the amended complaint filed in October, Dobrovolc’s consultation note about whether to release Ali from Grandview didn’t include anything about Ali’s previous conviction for voluntary manslaughter.
“All Defendants, the mental health care professional Defendants, Grandview and Day-Mont knew, or should have known, or had a duty to know, of the incarceration of Ali for manslaughter for killing a former girlfriend and his violent propensities, with or without proper medication, and inquire about the same to become knowledgeable persons for Ali’s care,” the amended complaint reads.
The named defendants include Grandview, Kettering Health Network, Day-Mont, Emcare, Inc., the Ohio Dept. of Job and Family Services and 13 individuals including health care providers and Ali plus several Jane and John Does.
“Unfortunately, due to patient privacy rights and pending litigation, we are unable to share any information at this time,” said attorney Charles Shane, who represents and was speaking for Grandview and Kettering Health Network employees and Dobrovolc.
A Job and Family Services spokesman declined to comment. Messages seeking comment were left with Emcare, Inc. and Day-Mont. We will update the story if and when they respond.
In a December 2016 response to the original complaint, a Day-Mont attorney wrote that: “Day-Mont denies that it was negligent, or that any treatment or care provided in its facility causally resulted in any harm or death to any other third party.”
Emcare, Inc. did not file an answer to the original complaint.
The lawsuit — which combines and replaces two civil actions brought earlier — was filed by Michael Taylor, administrator of Jasper Taylor’s estate, and Arryiss Richardson, on behalf of Tammy Cox, Michael Cox and a minor child.
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Dankof gave defendants an extension until Nov. 29 to answer the amended complaint in court.
Dobrovolc did write in her consultation note that Ali was found in the parking lot screaming, stating he was hearing voices and needed medication, according to the amended complaint. She also noted Ali was emotionally unstable and that Ali had been seeing and hearing things and that “people are always watching,” according to the amended complaint.
The amended complaint claims Dobrovolc advised the psychiatrist on duty, fellow defendant Dr. Brent Crane, that she did not believe that Ali met the criteria for inpatient psych help. Crane, who was not in the hospital, according to the amended complaint, “did not independently examine, evaluate, or diagnose Ali, his records, interview him, or call those at Day-Mont. according to the amended complaint.
Efforts to locate Crane for comment were unsuccessful and he did not file an answer to the original original complaint.
The amended complaint alleges Crane did not follow protocol in approving Ali’s release from Grandview.
“His lack of personal knowledge, lack of personal examination, lack of treatment, diagnosis, plan, failure to provide medication was not on personal knowledge as required by law,” according to the amended complaint.
The amended complaint also alleges that Ali, when released from prison in 2009, told several health care professionals at Day-Mont about his conviction and violent tendencies, but that records were not kept well enough to adequately inform all medical personnel about Ali’s history.
“Ali was wrongfully discharged/released from Grandview at 12:21 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2016 by the social worker and/or a nurse, being allowed to simply walk out of the hospital, without anyone bothering to ascertain if he had transportation or other means of getting home, and with no documented follow-up plan,” the amended complaint said.