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Ivey argues escape attempt from MSOP was crime of 'necessity'

Christopher Loyd Ivey, 40, told Sixth District Judge Dale Wolf on Wednesday that the reason he and three others attempted to escape from the Minnesota Sexual Offenders' Program (MSOP) in Moose Lake on June 19, 2010, was because living conditions ...

Ivey
Ivey

Christopher Loyd Ivey, 40, told Sixth District Judge Dale Wolf on Wednesday that the reason he and three others attempted to escape from the Minnesota Sexual Offenders' Program (MSOP) in Moose Lake on June 19, 2010, was because living conditions at the facility had become so intolerable that he had to attempt escape out of "necessity."

Ivey, who was representing himself, was in court for a scheduled review hearing. He was escorted into the courtroom at the Carlton County Courthouse in handcuffs and shackles, but when he spoke, he appeared articulate and well-versed in the legal process.

Wolf explained to Ivey that the defense of "necessity" is generally reserved for specific cases of self-defense or an act that was committed to "preserve health or life." He reminded Ivey that he was civilly committed to the MSOP facility because of his own actions and questioned what sort of conditions there could be "so egregious that you felt it necessary to escape."

"I would not go to the extent to say we are being tortured there," replied Ivey, "but there are times when they are mentally abusive to us. After a while, it gets to be so frustrating that the only thing you can do is take matters into your own hands."

He cited certain restrictions and violations imposed upon patients that then accrue points against their records. He also stated residents are not granted due process in refuting them. He said he has continually made recommendations for improvements to the ombudsmen made accessible to MSOP residents, but he charged that none of his complaints are ever really

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addressed.

He further stated that the treatment program at the MSOP has changed five times since he has been housed there but added, "No one's ever been released."

Ivey then stated he would like the court to have some type of dialogue with the MSOP regarding these matters. Wolf questioned if part of Ivey's reasoning in attempting to escape from the facility was to raise attention to these issues, and Ivey verified that was certainly a part of it.

Wolf then turned to Assistant County Attorney Dennis Genereau to ask for his comments before determining how to proceed with the case. Genereau acknowledged that Ivey had done a good job in following the legal requirements required of him and had made it clear what the parameters of his defense were going to be if it should go to trial.

"I do feel, however," said Genereau, "that this is a slippery slope - the commission of a crime to be used as leverage to obtain changes in a program, regardless of what it is. If a prosecutor gets into that type of negotiation with a defendant, there are bound to be others who will try to gain that sort of leverage as well."

Wolf then set Ivey's next court appearance as an uncontested omnibus and scheduled it for Wednesday, March 9, at 2 p.m. He encouraged both Ivey and Genereau to continue to pursue input regarding discovery and witnesses in the case and stated he still holds out hope that matters might go to an eventual pre-trial settlement conference.

One of the others involved in the escape attempt, Lloyd Anthony Hartleib, pleaded guilty last fall and was sent back to the MSOP facility. The other two, Russell Lynn Norton and Steven Allan Housman, both pleaded not guilty last week and are set for jury trials.

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