Suspect in Tassone assault case still awaiting mental hospital transfer
The man charged with attacking a 78-year-old woman outside a Grass Valley church and stealing her car was deemed not mentally competent to stand trial in August.
But Alan Curtis Sorensen, aka Alan Kierkegaard, remains in county jail, awaiting transportation to Napa State Hospital.
Sorensen was in Nevada County Superior Court for a status check Thursday, and Judge Robert Tice-Raskin said that a commitment order has been signed and his paperwork has been sent to the state Department of Mental Health.
It is not clear when that will actually take place, however, as it depends on when a bed will be available.
Another status hearing was scheduled for Oct. 29.
Criminal proceedings continue to be suspended against Sorensen, who allegedly struck Tassone in the head on July 5 and then took Tassone’s 2013 gray Honda Accord.
Sorensen was arrested July 9 and charged with attempted homicide with premeditation, kidnapping and carjacking with a special allegation of causing grievous bodily injury to an elderly victim.
His court-appointed attorney, David Alkire, subsequently requested a competency evaluation, and Tice-Raskin found that Sorensen suffers from a mental disorder and a significant impairment in his ability to understand the charges against him and assist counsel in his defense.
Tice-Raskin ordered that Sorensen be committed to Napa State Hospital for 180 days, after which a new evaluation will be conducted; he also drew up an order for involuntary treatment with anti-psychotic medication.
Meanwhile, Tassone’s family said that she continues to make remarkable improvements and that close friends now are being allowed to visit her, posting on her condition at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/marygracetassone.
According to her nephew, Greg Tassone, she has had rapid improvement since her transfer to a board-and-care home in the Auburn area.
“The doctors admit to being surprised and cautiously optimistic about her long-term prognosis,” he wrote. “She is standing, walking, and fully mobile all on her own. Her fine motor skills aren’t yet perfect, but they are close. … Her speaking has improved substantially. She is able to have small to medium conversations with no trouble.
“Her cognitive functions and memory are much improved,” Greg Tassone added. “She is recalling much (possibly all) of her long-term memory. Her short-term memory is holding up well; she is remembering many things from week to week. More of her personality is beginning to return in these past few weeks as well.”
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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