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No charges in patient death at northeast ND mental health facility

GRAND FORKS -- A mental health patient won't be charged for causing the death of another patient after prosecutors determined he was helping an employee being attacked in late September.

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GRAND FORKS - A mental health patient won't be charged for causing the death of another patient after prosecutors determined he was helping an employee being attacked in late September.

According to a letter written by the Grand Forks County State’s Attorney’s Office, the deceased male patient attacked a Red River Behavioral Health System nurse the evening of Sept. 29 in a common area at the 70-bed facility. A second male patient came to help the nurse and pushed the attacking patient, who fell, hit his head and died, the letter said.

Due to privacy issues, many details were withheld at the time. Grand Forks County State's Attorney David Jones reviewed the Grand Forks Police Department's investigative materials, including witness interviews, audio and tape recordings, he wrote in the letter.

Red River Behavioral Health provides services for those with mental health conditions. The North Dakota Department of Health is investigating a complaint filed around the time of the death concerning "the condition of patient rights" at the facility.

The Health Department declined to say whether the complaint and death are related.

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