Man accused of trying to smother fellow patient sentenced

August 20, 2018

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of trying to smother a fellow state psychiatric hospital patient has been sentenced to 10 years in an Iowa prison.

Buchanan County District Court records say 45-year-old Terrance Rooney Jr. was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to burglary and harassment. Prosecutors dropped a charge of attempted murder in exchange for Rooney’s pleas. Court records say an evaluation determined Rooney was competent to go to trial.

Rooney has been a patient at the Mental Health Institute in Independence for years and was a patient there when he pleaded guilty in 1999 to making a threat to the life of President Bill Clinton.

Authorities say in the latest case that Rooney tried to suffocate another patient in November and twisted the thumb of a staffer and threatened to kill her in February.

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