Suspect in Tassone assault case to be placed in mental hospital
The man who allegedly attacked 78-year-old Mary Grace Tassone outside a Grass Valley church and stole her car was in court Thursday after being found not mentally competent to stand trial last month.
Criminal proceedings continue to be suspended against Alan Curtis Sorensen, aka Alan Kierkegaard, the man who allegedly struck Tassone in the head on July 5. Sorensen, who reportedly then took Tassone’s 2013 gray Honda Accord, was arrested July 9 after being spotted in the parking lot of the Grass Valley Kmart, and is being held without bail.
Sorensen was 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 Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert 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.
An evaluation was ordered to determine whether Sorensen would undergo outpatient treatment or be committed to a hospital or other facility, and a psychiatrist was appointed to determine whether Sorensen would benefit from anti-psychotic medication.
Sorensen returned to court Thursday, where a request for a new attorney was denied. Tice-Raskin ordered that Sorensen be committed to Napa State Hospital for 180 days, after which a new evaluation will be conducted; Tice-Raskin is also to draw up an order for involuntary treatment with anti-psychotic medication.
A hearing was scheduled for Oct. 15 to check on Sorensen’s placement status.
Tassone’s family continues to provide periodic updates on her condition at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/marygracetassone.
“The good news is, she continues to improve, and faster than the doctors initially thought she would,” said Greg Tassone, Mary Grace’s nephew, on Friday. “She has been able to have full conversations with us and is able to interact with us. Her short-term memory has improved substantially.”
Mary Grace’s energy level is still low, Greg Tassone noted, adding that her long-term prognosis and whether she will make a full recovery remain a “question mark.”
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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