SEATTLE — The man accused of randomly attacking a woman at a Seattle light rail station will be paid $250 a day while the state remains unable to find him mental health help, a judge ordered Thursday.
Alexander Jay allegedly grabbed a woman and threw her down the stairs two times at the King Street light rail station in March. Jay is also accused of stabbing a woman 10 times at a bus stop on the same day.
In April, Jay was found incompetent to stand trial and ordered to undergo 90 days of inpatient treatment.
However, it has been more than 100 days and the state has not gotten Jay into an inpatient facility, causing his defense to call for his release. King County Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender found the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in contempt of court for failing to admit Jay to treatment.
Bender further condemned the state and the DSHS for not finding treatment for Jay to restore his competence to stand trial. She said holding Jay in jail instead of providing him treatment is a violation of his constitutional rights.
“The only reason it has stalled this long is that the government has not provided him a bed to get well in. That’s barbaric. That is not the behavior of a civilized society, and I find it extraordinarily offensive and heartbreaking,” Bender said.
Jay will remain in jail due to the severity of the charges, however, Bender ordered the state to pay him $250 per day that it is unable to get him into treatment.
Assistant Attorney General Nathaniel McKean represented DSHS and said his department believes these sanctions are "counterproductive" to finding a solution. He pointed to technical delays with virtual jail visitations.
“Your honor it’s not like we’re twiddling our thumbs over here. We understand that there is an issue and we are trying to process these instances as quickly as we can,” McKean said.
Bender said she was not satisfied that DSHS had adequately stewarded the resources available to the department.
The victim of the light rail station attack, Kim Hayes, addressed the court Thursday, pleading for the state to keep Jay in jail.
"He will harm someone. I am absolutely 100% sure of it. If he gets back out he will, he will repeat offend and I have absolute 100% assurance – I know that that will happen," Hayes said.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated which party would pay Alexander Jay while he is not in mental health treatment. The state Department of Social and Health Services will pay compensatory sanctions.