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Eugene Walmart theft suspect needs mental health treatment, husband says

Shane Kneeland said his husband suffers from schizophrenia and is refusing to take his medicine and get treatment.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 7:16 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A Eugene man is hoping his husband will be ordered to get treatment for his mental health while in custody.

Eugene Police said Devin Kneeland, 35, was arrested on July 18 for misdemeanor assault after he slapped his mom. Kneeland was also arrested after he allegedly stole items from Walmart on West 11th Avenue and ran from police on July 14.

RELATED: EUGENE MAN ARRESTED AFTER WALMART THEFT

Shane Kneeland, Devin's husband, said that arrest happened just days after he got out of jail in Springfield for stealing from Winco. Shane said his husband suffers from schizophrenia and is refusing to take his medicine and get treatment.

"We've tried to get him help, and it just seems impossible," Shane said.

Shane said he is worried that when his husband gets released form jail, he could go on to commit other crimes and is worried about his safety and the safety of others.

"I'm really concerned that releasing him over and over, eventually he is going to do something that is going to him hurt or someone else," Shane said.

Alese Colhour, a crisis counselor at White Bird Clinic, said situations like Kneeland are common in Eugene. She said there is a shortage of mental health care services and it's possible that a judge could require him to get treatment through a diversion program. She said may people suffering from mental health issues may not get care until they are required to by a judge.

"Early intervention is the most important thing we can do to provide more mental service here," Colhour said. "Emergency psychiatry, council and access to respite beds."

Shane said he has reached out to police and jail staff to let them know about his husband's conditions and is reaching out to his public defender.

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