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Keating seeks 'full-scale review' in Vinita nurse's shooting death

Mick Hinton Published: October 23, 2001

Gov. Frank Keating asked state health officials Monday to conduct a "full-scale review" into the Oct. 6 shooting death of a nurse by a mentally ill man at the Vinita hospital.

"In light of this tragedy, and after a recent communication with Mrs. Barbara Hodges, chief operating officer of Craig General Hospital, I am requesting a full-scale review of this incident by your department," Keating said in the letter released Monday by the governor's office to The Oklahoman .

The inquiry came after questions were raised by hospital administrators, police and others since Ricky Martin, a paranoid schizophrenic, burst into the hospital emergency room and shot six rounds into the body of nurse DeAnna Dorsey of Welch.

Vinita police killed Martin in the hospital parking lot minutes later.

The governor's letter was addressed to Dr. Terry Cline, state commissioner of mental health.

"As you are undoubtedly aware, the town of Vinita has experienced a tragic loss recently with the senseless murder of one of its finest citizens, Mrs. DeAnna Dorsey, a nurse at Craig General Hospital," the governor wrote. "As you can imagine, this event has shocked the community and has many residents searching for answers."

Keating said he realized it was a criminal matter as Martin killed Dorsey.

"Yet, I am particularly interested in any insight that you may be able to offer," he said.

Questions have been raised as to what treatment Martin may or may not have been receiving. The last his family knew is that Martin, living temporarily on the third floor of the YMCA in Tulsa, was receiving help from a case worker at Parkside Hospital in Tulsa and from a nurse who was giving him shots for his medication, said Martin's brother, Van Martin of Mustang.

In July, contract negotiations between the state and Parkside broke down. Mental Health Department officials said the hospital was demanding too much money for services. The state is in the process of trying to duplicate those services with three other Tulsa agencies.

A Tulsa mental health advocates association said the best it could determine was that Martin left Tulsa about a week before the Oct. 6 incident. When Martin arrived in Vinita, he told friends that he was not taking his medication because he did not need it.

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