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Ortiz to be evaluated

Defense, DA both sought oder

November 23, 2009
DUDLEY — Dudley District Court Judge Neil Snider agreed with both defense and prosecution requests, defining Hiram Burgos Ortiz a danger to others and sending him to Bridgewater State for 30 days of psychiatric evaluation.

According to Assistant District Attorney Shayne Picard, that essentially means Ortiz will be held without bail pending trial at Worcester County House of Correction if psychiatrists at Bridgewater determine he doesn't need treatment there.

Ortiz's attorney Thomas Brousseau successfully argued that his client has a history of psychological issues but "no history of violent behavior" prior to this incident. Ortiz' only brushes with the law have been some vehicular violations over the years, but he has spent "weeks at a time" in psychiatric hospitals and is currently on a long list of medications including tramadol, alprazolam and the painkiller Vicodin, he said. Some of them are for physical ailments; others are psychiatric drugs.

"I've spoken in part with him, but he's not been all that communicative," Brousseau said, later adding Ortiz has been experiencing "tremendous psychological turmoil" recently. He said Ortiz's long-term girlfriend, Maria Aponte, told him Ortiz "had been acting very erratic, very strange," including consuming a lot of alcohol.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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