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Narconon Arrowhead Legislation Planned
After four deaths linked to a drug treatment facility with ties to the Church of Scientology, a Senator plans to take action. Fox 25 first told you about Narconon Arrowhead in May. Now the facility has inspired a Senator to draft legislation. The center, which is based in the town of Canadian, has also sparked national interest.
Senator Tom Ivester says he plans to work with officials at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to author legislation. Ivester says his legislation will be aimed at "regulating questionable practices of a drug treatment program with close ties to the Church of Scientology."
"There's definitely issues when you've got people dying," said Senator Tom Ivester. "Three deaths within nine months. There's something wrong."
In July, Stacy Murphy became the third person to die at Narconon Arrowhead within a nine month period. Police found Murphy's body in her bed at the center.
Marisa Mendelson, Fox 25 News: "Do you think her death could have been prevented?"
Robert Murphy: "Oh. Without a doubt. Absolutely."
Stacy Murphy's father, Robert Murphy still wants answers after his daughter's death.
"There are people that need help and they need a place to go," said Murphy during an interview with Fox 25 in July. "A safe place to go. This place is not safe."
Gabriel Graves and Hillary Holten also died at the facility.
"It needs to be addressed," said Senator Ivester. "It needs to be addressed quickly."
Now State Senator Tom Ivester plans to write legislation aimed against what he called unorthodox treatment programs, like the one at Narconon Arrowhead.
"Number one, we want to make sure that they're providing safe treatment if they're going to continue to be able to treat patients at all," said Senator Ivester. "And second of all, we want to make sure that it's transparent and open that they're a legitimate treatment facility and not a mask for something else."
According to court documents, Kaysie Werninck died at a hospital after being at Narconon Arrowhead around a month. Her family sued the facility. That case settled before going to trial.
"The claim was that the responsible Narconon personnel ignored Kaysie's worsening condition and gave her the wrong prescription medication," said Mike Atkinson, the Attorney for Werninck's family.
"With the recent deaths and the track record they've had with the different lawsuits of negligence posted against them, it just doesn't smell right," said Senator Ivester. "And you know, where there's smoke, there's fire. And we definitely need to do something."
Senator Ivester has until February to file his legislation.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health is currently investigating Narconon Arrowhead. The Pittsburg County District Attorney is also investigating the facility. It is still deciding whether or not criminal charges will be filed against the facility for the death of Stacy Murphy. However, it is still waiting for the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office to turn over the results of its investigation. It is also waiting for the Medical Examiner's Office to release its toxicology report from Stacy Murphy's death.
Fox 25 contacted Narconon Arrowhead for a statement. We are still waiting to hear back.
Posted: Friday, August 17 2012, 10:08 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Names of those killed in Oklahoma tornado
May 23, 2013 03:41 GMT
Eds: Alphabetizes list
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma medical examiner's office says it has positively identified all 24 people killed in the tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, including 10 children:
-- Sydney Angle, 9
-- Hemant Bhonde, 65
-- Richard Brown, 41
-- Antonia Candelaria, 9
-- Emily Conatzer, 9
-- Kyle Davis, 8
-- Case Futrell, 4 months
-- Megan Futrell, 29
-- JaNae Hornsby, 9
-- Leslie Johnson, 46
-- Rick Jones, 54
-- Christopher Legg, 9
-- Terri Long, 49
-- Nicolas McCabe, 9
-- Jenny Neely, 38
-- Cindy Plumley, 45
-- Shannon Quick, 40
-- Tewauna Robinson, 45
-- William Sass, 63
-- Randy Smith, 39
-- Gina Stromski, 51
-- Karrina Vargyas, 4
-- Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months
-- Deanna Ward, 70
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