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SPTP resident convicted on battery, contraband charges

POSTED September 29, 2011 4:12 p.m.

LARNED — David W. Neal, 40, was convicted on one count of battery of a mental health employee and three counts of trafficking contraband in a care and treatment facility in Pawnee County District Court.
Neal, formerly of Wyandotte County, was judged guilty Wednesday by a Pawnee County jury following a two-day trial. The jury deliberated for nearly two hours before issuing its verdict.
The charges stemmed from a June 5, 2010, incident at the Sexual Predator Treatment Program (SPTP) located on the campus of Larned State Hospital. 
According to the testimony presented at trial, the jury agreed that the evidence showed Neal attacked a hospital staff member with a makeshift knife after staff informed him they were going to search his room for suspected contraband. A tobacco product and pornographic materials were subsequently discovered in his room. 
Christopher Burke, Larned State Hospital superintendent, testified that the items retrieved from the defendant’s room, as well as the weapon, are prohibited at SPTP.  At the time of the incident, Burke was a member of the SPTP clinical staff for the unit in which Neal resided.
Following the reading of the verdict the defendant was remanded back to the custody of the Secretary of Social and Rehabilitative Services. 
Sentencing is scheduled Nov. 14, 2011. Based on his criminal history, Neal faces a presumptive prison sentence of 39 months with the Department of Correction. Neal has been at SPTP since 2004.


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