Man ruled insane in college killing sues state hospital

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Massachusetts man acquitted by reason of insanity of killing a Wesleyan University student in 2009 has filed a lawsuit against Connecticut’s state psychiatric hospital complex, saying an employee improperly told a TV station that he and other patients were allowed to play violent video games.

Stephen Morgan’s lawsuit says he was “emotionally hurt” by the disclosure, and the hospital violated his rights to privacy and to dignified and humane treatment. The suit seeks more than $15,000 in damages and a court order barring the hospital from releasing any other confidential information about him.

The suit names Whiting Forensic Hospital and Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown.

Morgan was charged with murder and other crimes in the May 2009 shooting death of 21-year-old Johanna Justin-Jinich, a college junior from Timnath, Colorado, at a bookstore cafe on Wesleyan’s campus. A three judge panel found him not guilty by reason of insanity and committed him to the psychiatric hospital for 60 years.

In November 2017, a Whiting employee, Johnny Tirado, told NBC affiliate WVIT-TV that dangerous patients were being allowed to play violent video games including Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

A hearing is set for Dec. 7 on a request by Morgan to seal his name from public view and allow him to use a pseudonym in the lawsuit.