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Mental hospital for crossbow suspect

A Grass Valley man accused of killing his older brother with a crossbow will be committed to a state mental hospital for three years, under a Nevada County judge’s ruling.

Arthur Michael Prosser, 65, will be transported from Wayne Brown Correctional Facility in Nevada City and locked up at Napa State Hospital, Judge Julie McManus ruled at an impromptu hearing on Thursday.

Prosser already had spent time at the facility after having been found insane in connection to a 1967 case.



McManus was originally scheduled to make her decision regarding Prosser this morning, but was called to sit on a San Francisco judge’s panel at the last minute, Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson said.

McManus’s decision is based on the results of an evaluation of Prosser’s mental state by Harper Medical Group Inc., Central Valley Regional Conditional Release Program of Placer County, or CONREP.




The mental health professionals from CONREP evaluated Prosser after Yuba City psychiatrist Donald Stembridge performed his own evaluation earlier this month. After reading their confidential findings, McManus ruled Prosser incompetent to stand trial. The results from both of Prosser’s mental health evaluations are confidential and not available to the public, McManus ordered.

Because he is not competent to stand trial, Prosser will stay at the secure hospital for three years, after which time his mental state will be re-evaluated, Ferguson said.

“In cases where the potential exposure (to prison) is 25 years to life, the judge sends (mentally incompetent defendants) away for three years, then they are subject to re-evaluation,” Ferguson said.

If, after three years, Prosser is deemed competent to aid in his defense, he would then stand trial for murder, Ferguson said.

Prosser’s brother, Gerald Prosser, 67, was found dead Aug. 21, 2007, in a bedroom at the home the brothers shared on the 10000 block of Raker Court, just outside Lake of the Pines.

Gerald Prosser had been shot in the neck and chest with a crossbow, sheriff’s investigators said.

Prosser has previously spent time in both Napa State Hospital and Atascadero State Hospital, both lock-down institutions for the mentally ill, Ferguson said.

The Sacramento County district attorney charged Prosser in 1967 with assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, and Prosser pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, according to court records.

After the jurors found Prosser to be insane, Prosser was transferred between mental institutions until 1992, when a judge ruled his sanity had been restored.

He was sentenced to outpatient mental health treatment in Placer County, Ferguson and Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Smith said.


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