The Hot Beat


The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him:

Details of Becker’s release from hospital remain clouded

The mental health coordinator who was supposedly told that the sheriff’s office should be notified when Mark Becker was released from a Waterloo hospital is Bob Lincoln.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office says it was not notified, and the hospital, Covenant Medical Center, says it was not asked to notify the sheriff’s office.

Becker shot Aplington-Parkersburg Head Football Coach Ed Thomas to death the next morning, prompting questions about why the 24-year-old wasn’t given more oversight when he was let out of the hospital.

Lincoln does not work for the hospital. He’s an employee of Butler County Community Services and serves as central point coordinator for mental health services. He said Friday he could not comment, and wasn’t aware that the sheriff’s office and hospital have been issuing dueling statements on whether the sheriff should have been notified upon Becker’s release.

A judicial magistrate issued an emergency detention order for Becker on Sunday, asking that he be evaluated. Iowa law required that the hospital release Becker within 48 hours of the order, unless someone had filed an application with the clerk of court stating that Becker was “seriously mentally impaired.” That application would have required a doctor’s written statement to that effect, and supporting affidavits.

The hospital said it released Becker to a “third party” on Tuesdsay, but it’s not clear who that was. It’s also not clear whether he was evaluated after while in the hospital, and what that evaluation revealed.

Lincoln and the hospital are citing HIPAA, the medical privacy laws, as an obstacle to their speaking openly about the case.

Filed under: Public Safety, , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. tgr says:

    Isn’t government health care great! Nobody knows who, what, when or where.

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