Man who strangled nephew in Waco ordered back to secure mental facility after violations at group home
Alfred Kilinus Cornelius originally charged with capital murder, found not guilty by reason of insanity
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Gainesville man found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2009 strangulation death of his nephew in Waco was ordered returned to a secure mental facility Wednesday, five months after he was transferred to a group home in Seguin.
Judge Thomas West, of Waco’s 19th State District Court, ordered Alfred Kilinus Cornelius, 33, to be sent back to the Kerrville State Hospital, a more-restrictive environment than the private group home in Seguin the judge transferred him to in July because of the positive progress he had been making.
Cornelius, who has been diagnosed with severe psychotic bipolar disorder, polysubstance dependence and antisocial personality disorder, was charged with capital murder in the August 2009 asphyxiation death of his 15-month-old nephew, Kamari Jae Edwards, at the former Villages Apartments at 1100 N. Sixth St. in Waco.
Cornelius admitted strangling the boy and told police “the devil was getting to him” and that he “just had to end it,” according to court records.
He was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2011 and was sent to the North Texas State Mental Hospital in Vernon, a maximum-security mental facility. As his condition improved with treatment, he was transferred to the state hospital in Kerrville, an intermediate-security facility.
Texas law requires mental patients who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial to be treated in the least-restrictive environment deemed appropriate for their condition and response to treatment.
Doctors and social workers at the Kerrville facility recommended that Cornelius be transferred to Bluebonnet Hills, a private group home in Seguin, noting marked improvement in his condition.
However, in a letter dated Dec. 2, Paul Brown, a rehabilitation specialist at the group home, reported to Judge West that Cornelius violated a number of home rules and was not responding well to a change in his medication regime.
Brown reported that Cornelius removed the GPS ankle monitor that West ordered him to wear and sneaked out of a window on Dec. 1. He violated his curfew and was gone about four hours. He told staff members he experienced hallucinations telling him to go into the woods. He said he tried to hang himself with a shoelace but heard a voice telling him to stand up before he passed out, according to Brown’s report.
Brown also said Cornelius violated home rules by buying alcohol and tobacco products and told staff members he had not slept more than an hour in the last week and had been “very schizophrenic lately.” He said the voices he hears are nonstop unless he is at work as a server at Chili’s or at the gym.
Later, Cornelius said he wasn’t trying to kill himself. He was just trying to “spice things up,” Brown’s report states.
“Alfred is a charismatic and sociable individual, with excellent people skills,” Brown wrote. “However, his inability to follow rules or practice honesty in relationships puts his safety and the safety of other clients in the program at risk.”
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