Family of man who beat 84-year-old woman says he has mental health issues

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

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Yelm, Wash. —

The family of the man accused of badly beating and trying to carjack an 84-year-old woman said the whole thing might have been preventable.

“I think the state of Washington needs to have a better system on the mentally ill,” said Lora Reed, the suspect's sister.

Reed said first and foremost her family sends its deepest apologies to the victim Mavis McDonald, who is still in critical condition with bruises, broken bones and possible internal bleeding.

“I am just praying that Mrs. McDonald has a full recovery,” Reed said.

However, Reed also said Lane Bennett, her 46-year-old brother, has been suffering from depression and bipolar disorder since his mid-20s.  They have been trying to get him committed to a hospital for years, but never had the money for a private facility.  They were also told repeatedly he was not violent enough for a public mental health treatment.

“I think the state of Washington needs to have a better system on the mentally ill,” Reed said.

Bennett is in the hospital, having suffered injuries during the chase he led police on.  Police expect to take custody of Bennett Wednesday.

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