COOS BAY - A mentally disabled teenager has been committed to state care after a judge ruled he killed his father's girlfriend.
Coos County Circuit Judge Martin Stone said the testimony of 34 witnesses was enough to convince him that 18-year-old Henry Cozad posed a danger to others.
Stone ordered Cozad to a secure group home in Salem for at least a year and placed him in the custody of the state Department of Human Services.
"I am clearly convinced that Henry Cozad, because of his mental retardation, is a danger to others," Stone said, noting Cozad's aggressive behaviors since elementary school.
"There is a history of kicking. There is a history of pulling hair. There is a history of choking and a few instances of inappropriate sexual conduct."
Cozad was arrested in the beating death of 59-year-old Linda Foley, the girlfriend of Fred Cozad.
The judge said the death and the fact that neither Fred Cozad nor the teen's mother, Devita Cozad, are willing to accept he is capable of such an act, persuaded the judge to remove him from their guardianship.
Defense attorneys Carole Hamilton and John Meynink had argued the district attorney did not have enough clear evidence to support the commitment. They also contended Cozad should be returned home.
But the judge said witness testimony of the teen's poor hygiene, of squalor in the Cozad house, and photos he reviewed of the teenager's urine-stained mattress were also proof he shouldn't be sent home.
Devita Cozad testified she had cleaned the home with the help of Fred, had made multiple renovations to the interior and yard, and had replaced their son's mattress. But she said when she began cleaning up the place, it had made her sick.
The court also heard from Dr. Jason Quiring, a neuropsychologist who saw Cozad at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem.