Circuit Judge Chris Piazza today found Michael Tate Reed innocent of a first-degree criminal mischief charge for knocking down the new Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds with his car.  The judge cited mental disease or defect for the acquittal.

Reed was returned to the State Hospital, which could eventually decide he can be released. He’s been in hospital care since July 2017 when he drove his car into the newly installed monument the night it was put in place. He’d destroyed a similar monument in Oklahoma City. That case was resolved by an agreement to get additional treatment.

His family has said Reed needed mental treatment, but problems arise when he fails to stay on medication.

A new monument, with protective pillars, has been installed. Two lawsuits seek its removal as a violation of church-state separation.