An appellate court has denied a petition to allow a Collier teen accused of killing his parents in-person access to a private psychologist.
The request for face-to-face, unmonitored therapy for Alex Crain, 15, was initially declined by the Naples Jail Center and the Collier County Sheriff's Office. His defense then filed a motion in the Collier County circuit court seeking unmonitored therapy for the teen — who is charged with the Dec. 2010 shooting of his mother and father in their Golden Gate Estates home — only to have it denied.
"A 15 year old going through this trauma desperately needs confidential psychotherapy," defense attorney Brian Bieber said.
The defense's concern was that mental health treatment by jail staff, which is contracted out through a firm called Corizon, formerly Prison Health Services (PHS), would not be confidential.
If not allowed to see Crain in person, a private counselor would have to use the jail center's video visitation system, which would not have guaranteed confidential communications.
However, the statement from the 2nd District Court of Appeal Friday highlighted that "the contract between PHS and the sheriff provides that PHS must maintain patient confidentiality according to applicable law."
"The court specifically stated that confidentiality of Alex's communication with the jail psychologist will remain in full force," Bieber said. "While we're disappointed that the jail has instituted a policy of preventing inmates the access to a therapist of their own choosing, we are confident in the sense that everything Alex tells the doctor will stay between them."
In the past three weeks, the only registered visitors Crain has had are a clergy member and his grandmother, Nancy Ward.
He is charged with two counts of manslaughter with a firearm in the deaths of his parents Thomas and Kelly Crain in the family's Golden Gate Estates home on Dec. 9, 2010.
Each count is a first-degree felony that carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
He is scheduled to go to trial April 23.