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Family concerned about upcoming release of man who killed his own mother

"If you're willing to take your loving mother's life, whose life would you not be willing to take?" Chad Perkins said.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A man charged with his own mother's death is scheduled to be released from a mental hospital this Saturday, June 10. 

Gavin Perkins has been held at Central State Hospital since family members say he shot and killed Ruth Perkins in 2018.

"I never believed he would harm someone else. Not the person, not the Gavin we knew," Ruth's daughter, Kirsten Russell said.

She said they started to see a shift in Gavin when he returned home from the military. They later learned he suffers from delusions and paranoia.

"He believes that specifically that government agencies are out to get him and he took her life because he thought she was a part of the conspiracy to get him," Kirsten said.

Because of Gavin's mental state, he was found incompetent to stand trial twice causing the criminal case to be dismissed. 

This past April, the Commonwealth Attorney's office said they were able to admit him to a treatment facility for 60 days.

Gavin is expected to be released Saturday, and according to Chad Perkins, the new prosecutor on the case told them the law requires a person to have a previous conviction in order to be held for a long period of time.

"The new commonwealth attorney isn't reading the law correctly and we spoke to other legislators who agree," he said.

Gerina Whethers was appointed by Governor Andy Beshear appointed in May. In a statement, Whethers said her office filed a petition Thursday to admit Gavin for 360 days. 

Now, it's up to medical professionals to decide, leaving Ruth's children worried for their safety and the public's.

"If you're willing to take your loving mother's life, whose life would you not be willing to take?" Chad said.

In an update on Friday, the Perkins family said the Commonwealth's Attorney's office petition was turned down by doctors at Central State.

"This will allow Gavin to be released this weekend," the family said in a statement. "We are very fearful for ourselves and for the general public."

According to the family, Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office offered to take on the case and try different options, but in order to do this, the Commonwealth's Attorney or Governor Andy Beshear's office must allow him to do so.

"We plead this request is made so that we may have a chance for our family or others to avoid any further devastation," they said.

In a statement sent late Friday evening, Beshear said he spoke to the Commonwealth's Attorney "and she wants to honor the wishes of the Perkins family." He agreed with her, and they will refer the case to Cameron's office.

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