A former Marine who escaped from the Naval Hospital Beaufort wearing only his boxer shorts, stole a fire truck, and then used it to strike and kill a pedestrian has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
The Beaufort Gazette reports that Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen issued the ruling Thursday in the case of 28-year-old Kalvin Hunt of Sumter. Hunt had been charged with murder and numerous other counts in the death of 28-year-old Justin Miller. Psychiatrists have diagnosed Hunt with paranoid schizophrenia. He is now at a secure state Department of Mental Health facility, the newspaper reports.
Investigators said Hunt had been taken to the naval hospital for evaluation on February 24, 2012 by a Beaufort County Veterans Affairs officer after Hunt’s mother expressed concerns about his well-being. At some point, Hunt escaped from hospital personnel and fled the grounds. The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said Hunt eventually came across a Port Royal Fire Department truck that was responding to a call at a nearby apartment complex. He got into the truck and drove off, later striking six other cars and running down Miller while the other man walked along Ribaut Road, prosecutors said. Hunt then crashed in a wooded area.
The judge said a new hearing and judicial decision would be held if Hunt is ever recommended for release. He was dishonorably discharged from the Marines not long after the incident.
A lawsuit was filed last year against the naval hospital and Hunt by another driver whose SUV was hit by the fire truck.