Tuesday, September 23, 1997
Gray's killer sentenced
to psychiatric facility

BY ALLEN HOWARD
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Wilbur Worthen, who admitted killing community activist Buddy Gray on Nov. 15, will spend at least six months in a high-security mental health facility.

On Monday, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Richard Niehaus sentenced Mr. Worthen, 57, to the Twin Valley Psychiatric Forensic Unit in Dayton, Ohio, and said he will review his case March 12.

Mr. Worthen was found not guilty by reason of insanity after a bench trial in Judge Niehaus' courtroom Sept 12. Two court-appointed psychiatrists testified that Mr. Worthen was so mentally ill he did not know that shooting Mr. Gray was wrong.

Witnesses testified that Mr. Worthen barged into Mr. Gray's office at the Drop-Inn Center, pulled a revolver from under his jacket and fired six times.

Mr. Gray was hit three times, one bullet puncturing his heart. A witness testified he heard Mr. Worthen say, "He was trying to kill me, so I killed him."

Relatives of Mr. Gray said outside the courtroom they are not satisfied with the sentencing and the way the law is framed. They said that since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, Mr. Worthen possibly could be released and on the streets again if doctors later find him not to be insane.

Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Seth Tieger, who had argued for a guilty verdict in the trial, said his office would fight any attempts to release Mr. Worthen.

Unlike at previous hearings, Mr. Worthen sat calmly in a wheelchair, showing no emotion as the sentence was announced.