Authorities have dropped charges against Jadon Hayden, a 20-year-old who was charged with two accounts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and larceny after he was captured on video brutally savaging a 70-year-old nursing home patient in Detroit.
Hayden was diagnosed with schizophrenia before he was confined to stay at the nursing home facility to recover from COVID-19 by Michigan state health officials, where he committed the suspected attack on the elderly victim.
The video, which surfaced at the height of the pandemic on May 10, 2020, was widely circulated on social media, with many calling for justice for the victim, Norman Bledsoe.
The victim died weeks after the assault.
After the video of the vicious beating went viral, Hayden was subsequently charged. This week, authorities dismissed charges against the suspect, finding him incompetent to stand trial, and confined him to a psychiatric hospital in Kalamazoo that he is not at liberty to leave.
“He shouldn't be in prison,” said the suspect’s father Marty Hayden, who said that if his son had been convicted and sentenced to prison it would have only worsened his mental health.
“So the system is going to fail him again,” said Marty Hayden in an interview with 7 Action News on Tuesday, “He’s not going to be rehabilitated.”
The man said that he hopes to find a lawyer to hold the authorities responsible for placing his son in the nursing home in the first place. Hayden believes that his son was set up to fail and for Bledsoe to become a victim.
While commentators on social media remain up in arms about the lack of justice given to the victim, Norman Bledsoe, it’s worth asking why the health authorities placed a severely mentally ill and dangerous individual in the same quarters as a vulnerable senior citizen.
“Why should you put him in a nursing home? All around elderly people,” he said.
As detailed by ABC7, Jadon Hayden filmed himself repeatedly hitting Bledsoe, an army veteran, while the victim lay in his bed. The two men shared a room at the Westwood Nursing Centre in Detroit.
Hayden was in a group home in Washtenaw County when he called his father to say that he was hearing voices and believed people were out to kill him.
“He was in crisis mode,” said Marty Hayden, who told the news organization that his son had a history of assaultive behavior.
“In early May 2020, Jadon Hayden called 911 so that he could be sent to a hospital for treatment,” ABC7 reported. “His father said it was at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor where Jadon was then diagnosed with COVID-19. He said that's when the 20-year-old who had dreams of becoming a boxer was sent to the nursing home to recover.”
Marty Hayden blames Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials for allowing nursing homes to accept those recovering from COVID-19 for additional care. The nursing homes have been criticized as being motivated by profit to participate in the COVID-19 hub system.
“They dropped the ball. Why would they put my child in a nursing home,” said the father of the suspect, who added that everyone involved in making the decision to send his son to the nursing home should have been aware that he had a history of violence on his record, as well as other issues stemming from his schizophrenia.
“They should have known,” said Jadon Hayden's attorney Brian Berry. “I think the facility had an idea of who Jadon was and what type of treatment he needed. I think they knew, or had a history, that he was schizophrenic and it should have been handled differently.”
Although prosecutors have dropped the charges against Hayden, his lawyer does not believe that his situation will improve.
“Unfortunately, both the victim in this case and the defendant were both in put in a bad situation.”
Bledsoe’s family has also retained an attorney to file a lawsuit against the nursing home.