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Suspect inadvertently released from VA hospital

Nov. 28, 2012 - 07:03AM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 28, 2012 - 07:03AM  |  
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WEST HAVEN, Conn. — An Army soldier accused of shooting his girlfriend was inadvertently discharged from a Veterans Affairs hospital but was returned within days to the West Haven facility.

The Day of New London reported that Jason Durr was returned Monday after he was found at his mother's home. He had been discharged over the weekend.

Durr will remain at the VA hospital until he is released Dec. 4 to a residential substance abuse treatment center in Long Island.

The 28-year-old was charged in May with attempted murder, first-degree assault and illegal possession of an assault weapon in the shooting of Rachel Trombino of Westerly, R.I.

He was released from prison last month and admitted to the VA hospital for evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder related to his deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Trombino, who has a scar extending the length of her torso, said she learned after the shooting that Durr had never been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Trombino said she has the disorder as a result of the shooting and is seeing a counselor.

"I don't understand why he's in a program. He shot me. He deserves to be in jail," she said.

Trombino said Durr had been drinking heavily and "eating Xanax like it was candy" before the attack.

She said she doesn't have much faith in a protective order prohibiting him from contacting her.

"There's a piece of paper between me and a 6-foot-10-inch man," she said.

In releasing him to the hospital, New London Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy reduced Durr's $1.1 million bond to a written promise to appear in court, and she is to receive progress reports from a representative from the Southeastern Mental Health Authority.

Durr's lawyer is considering using mental illness as a defense. Prosecutor David J. Smith has said he will seek prison time.

Judge Handy continued the case until Tuesday and waived the requirement that Durr be present as long as he is in the treatment facility. She said she has been receiving letters from Trombino's family.

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