BOWLING GREEN — A Wood County jail inmate accused of kidnapping and shooting a woman left his hospital treatment to go shopping.
A court order shows Sam Slaughterbeck, 64, transferred last month from the Wood County jail for approved medical treatment at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. He then made use of his newfound freedom to purchase items from a nearby store, use a cellphone, and apparently form Thanksgiving plans away from the hospital.
Mr. Slaughterbeck has since returned to jail.
Common Pleas Judge Mathew Reger on Oct. 6 approved Mr. Slaughterbeck, a veteran, on furlough for immediate medical attention. On Nov. 16, Judge Reger reiterated in a second court order that he furloughed, not released, Mr. Slaughterbeck.
It's a temporary leave of absence for a specific purpose, and the same rules of jail should apply, the judge wrote.
“He should not be given passes to leave the facility to go shopping and he should not be allowed to make cellphone calls anytime,” the judge wrote.
Judge Reger said in an interview he issued the order immediately after learning Mr. Slaughterbeck's status.
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said the hospital treated Mr. Slaughterbeck as essentially any other patient. It appears officials there misunderstood what occurred, he said.
Mr. Slaughterbeck was admitted as a regular patient. Hospital officials were not informed Mr. Slaughterbeck was coming, said Brian Hayes, spokesman for the federal department in Ann Arbor.
“We're just not in the business of posting guard outside people's doors or anything like that,” he said.
The key word is “furlough,” meaning the judge determined he is not a hazard, Mr. Hayes said.
“Based on that language, he's basically free to come and go as he pleases,” Mr. Hayes said.
Mr. Slaughterbeck's attorney, Sam Kaplan of Toledo, declined comment.
Officers responded to a dispute inside Mr. Slaughterbeck's residence in the Village Green Mobile Home Park, 7630 Reitz Rd. A gunman, whom police identified as Mr. Slaughterbeck, called 911 and repeatedly threatened to shoot a woman.
“Don't worry, you're not going to bleed out. I'm going to shoot you where you're not going to bleed out,” the man said on the recording. The bullet shattered her kneecap.
Mr. Slaughterbeck is charged with kidnapping and felonious assault. He returned to the jail Friday. His bond remained at $100,000.