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UPDATE: Homeless Bill “wants to leave” VA hospital

In a hearing that was closed to the public, medical reports were submitted today in the case of “Homeless” Bill Walton.

Judge Brian McPheters sealed the reports in accordance with HIPAA regulations.
Only two media reps were in attendance, The News-Gazette’s Jim Dey, and the Independent Media Center’s Brian Dolinar.

Dolinar reports the following:

Testimony was heard from Lori DeYoung, of the VA Illiana Health Care System who reported that Bill Walton suffers from dementia, paranoia, and schizophrenia. No mention was made of Bill’s physical health. When asked how Bill was doing at the VA in Danville, DeYoung said Bill is comfortable and engaging with staff. There was no account given as to why Walton has not been allowed to leave after his medical evaluation.

While DeYoung was on the stand, she produced a medical report and a recess was taken to allow the attorneys to read through it. Guardian Ad Litem attorney Andrew Bequette read statements in the report that Bill “wants to leave.”

DeYoung said that Bill asked if he was “in trouble.”

DeYoung said she assured Bill he was not in trouble and they were only there to help him.
DeYoung testified if Bill were to live in town, it would be best if it were to be in an assisted living situation. Judge McPheters ordered former Champaign County Sheriff Joe Brown, now the Champaign County Public Guardian to be a temporary 60-day guardian. If Walton requests discharge from the hospital, Brown would now have to approve Bill’s release from the VA hospital.

The next hearing is September 19, at 2 p.m. in Courtroom J to determine who will be Bill’s permanent guardian.

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