By JIM KEVLIN : COOPERSTOWN
The father of Tony Pacherille, 16, is concerned his son has received no psychiatric counseling in the 10 months he has spent in Otsego County Jail.
“He’s still on suicide watch,” said the father, also named Anthony.
The boy is charged with wounding a fellow CCS student last Good Friday afternoon in Cooper Park; he then turned the rifle on himself, shooting himself in the head.
He has been examined by four psychiatrists in preparation for trial, said the father, and “they all agree that this kid is seriously mentally ill.”
Jail guards check the teen – he is medicated – every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, said the father.
District Attorney John Muehl, the prosecutor, said he’s received assurances from the jail that Pacherille is fine, and that he is meeting weekly with the prison nurse, and the county’s psychiatric nurse is available to him.
But the boy’s father said his son perceives the prison nurse as someone on the side of the prosecution, so does not talk to her.
John Caher, a state Commission of Corrections spokesman, said a prisoner “is entitled to the community standard for medical care, including mental health care. For someone who is clearly in need of psychiatric assistance (such as someone who had attempted suicide), that would include an evaluation, professional risk assessment and, if there is a mental disorder, a written treatment plan that addresses continuing mental health care.”
He said the commission responds to “all allegations of inadequate ... health care.”
The trial – on charges that have been classified as hate crimes; the classmate who was shot was black – is scheduled to begin at the end of May in Otsego County Court.