The arraignment for a Lake Charles man charged with manslaughter in the April death of a Baton Rouge General Medical Center nurse — the most serious of a series of attacks on health care personnel in Baton Rouge this year — was postponed Thursday after a judge was told the defendant was hospitalized.
State District Judge Bonnie Jackson said she was advised by an East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy that Jessie Wayne Guillory, 54, is on life support at a hospital.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III, who was not in Jackson's courtroom for the brief proceeding, said afterward it is his understanding that Guillory is not on life support but requires 24-hour daily care at this time.
"He is receiving constant attention," Moore said.
The district attorney said he was told that Guillory has “significant mental and physical problems.”
Sheriff's Office attorney Mary Erlingson said she is not authorized to discuss Guillory's medical condition but said it is anticipated he will eventually return to Parish Prison.
Jackson, at the request of prosecutor April Leon, rescheduled Guillory's arraignment for Oct. 23.
Guillory, who was a behavioral health patient at Baton Rouge General, is accused of attacking nurse Lynne Truxillo on April 4. She died April 11 from complications resulting from the attack.
Dr. Beau Clark, the parish coroner, ruled there was a direct connection between the blood clots that killed the 56-year-old Truxillo and the altercation involving Guillory the week before. Clark ruled her death a homicide.
Guillory initially attacked another nurse in the hospital's behavioral health unit at its Mid City campus, police said, and Truxillo stepped in to help her colleague. Guillory then turned on her, grabbing her neck and striking her head on a desk. She injured her leg trying to escape.
Doctors later determined Truxillo had torn her right ACL, which would require surgery, an arrest warrant states. But she died April 11. She began having trouble breathing and went into cardiac arrest multiple times before doctors were ultimately unable to revive her.
Truxillo's death, and other incidents involving attacks on medical personnel in Baton Rouge since her attack, have prompted demands for better hospital safety practices to minimize dangers to health care professionals.
In separate incidents also in April, two men were arrested after employees reported being assaulted at the Tau Center, a mental health treatment facility in Baton Rouge, while attempting to administer treatment to the men. One of the victims sustained a busted lip and broken finger, police said.
In late May, an Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center emergency room patient was arrested and accused of punching a doctor in the face, knocking him unconscious. Dontonyo Jamal Grey, 22, of Zachary, who was booked on a count of battery of emergency room personnel, told sheriff’s deputies he punched the doctor because "he felt like it" and "it would happen again." The doctor told deputies he had never seen Grey before the incident.
Then, in June, a 19-year-old Baton Rouge woman angry at OLOL staff was arrested after she attacked medical personnel at the hospital, pulling a nurse by the ponytail and biting a doctor on the arm, the Sheriff's Office reported. Camisha Simmons was booked on counts of aggravated battery and battery of emergency room personnel. Simmons was a family member of a patient at the hospital, an OLOL spokesman said.
There are no federal standards in place governing how healthcare facilities protect their employees, but a bill was recently introduced in Congress that would implement two new requirements for hospitals: develop violence prevention plans and report all instances of violence to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Better funding for mental health care would also help protect nurses, particularly in Louisiana where advocates agree the state's notoriously underfunded psychiatric treatment system often leaves patients with nowhere to turn.