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By: Denise Alex
By: Denise Alex

Mental health advocates say the man accused in the Columbus-area highway shootings could be an example of someone who could have been helped by a little-used legal tool.

Ohio and 41 other states have laws allowing courts to order people with severe mental illness into outpatient counseling or treatment if they refuse to comply on their own, but many judges are reluctant to use the power, and some say the laws violate the patient's rights.

Charles McCoy Junior of Columbus pleaded innocent in the shootings.

He has been found competent to stand trial while he's being medicated in jail. His attorneys say McCoy has gone for long stretches without medication in the 10 years he's had paranoid schizophrenia.


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