A judge has ordered the release of a man who destroyed Arkansas’ Ten Commandments following his acquittal on mental health grounds.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Vann Smith approved the conditional release Friday of Michael Tate Reed from the state hospital to live with his mother in Alma, Arkansas. Smith said that Reed must receive treatment from the Valley Behavioral Health System, and is prohibited from driving a vehicle.
The order, which is in effect for five years, also prohibits Reed from drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs and says he’ll submit to random drug tests. The order also requires Reed to meet with state mental health compliance officers on a regularly scheduled basis.
A judge in late May acquitted Reed of destroying the monument outside Arkansas’ Capitol with his car in 2017, after an evaluation said Reed lacked the capacity to follow the law at the time. A replacement monument now stands in its place, protected by four concrete posts.
In Friday’s order, Smith ruled that Reed doesn’t present a substantial risk of harm to himself or to others, or to property. Reed suffers bipolar disorder, histrionic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, according to an evaluation submitted to the court. The evaluation said doctors believed Reed “can be safely managed in a less restrictive setting at this time.”
Reed destroyed a similar monument in Oklahoma City in 2014, but Oklahoma prosecutors didn’t charge him after concerns were raised about his mental health.
A 2015 law required Arkansas to allow the privately funded monument on the state Capitol grounds. A federal judge has merged two lawsuits seeking the display’s removal by groups who call it an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the state government.