LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – “Incompetent to stand trial” is a term used often in court for an offender who is not able to grasp what is happening or assist in their defense.

However, we rarely find out what happens to offenders deemed incompetent. For a couple of months, FOX5 has been digging into a common hurdle that many of these offenders face—the wait time to get into mental health facilities so they can become competent.

Dylan Ihmels is one of them. He waited for months to be transported from the Clark County Detention Center to a state-run mental health facility for inmates.

However, life for Dylan wasn’t always like this. He was a star athlete who dreamt big as a teen when he was asked to play tennis for Utah State.

“He played nonstop, morning and evening tennis, he was number three in the state,” his mom, Sally Ihmels, said.

The future seemed bright for Dylan, until the middle of his freshman year. Sally tells FOX5 it was around this time when her son was not acting like his usual self.

“I took him to the emergency room, as I can recall, at least twice thinking he was on something. They tested him and he was completely clean,” Sally said.

Dylan was clean but something still wasn’t right.

Sally said she eventually had Dylan see a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with a serious mental illness. Out of respect for Dylan’s privacy, Sally wishes to not disclose that information.

“He had been medically compliant ever since, meaning taking his meds, a lot of counseling,” Sally said.

She said it felt like her son was returning to his normal self again.

“It’s much better than what it was. He was leading a somewhat normal life,” Sally said.

It was a normal life that took a shocking turn in August of 2023. Police say 26-year-old Dylan stabbed a man up to 40 times near the Main Street casino.

“I can’t tell you what that night was like for us. It was horrible, I couldn’t believe it,” Sally said.

It was an unprovoked attack that led to Dylan facing attempted murder charges.

“I don’t know what was going on in Dylan’s head, but we later found out he wasn’t on medication, which was a problem,” Sally said.

Shortly after his arrest, Dylan was found incompetent by the court.

Dylan is being represented by criminal defense attorney Josh Tomsheck.

“Competency doesn’t come up in every case, and when it does, it is almost always an issue,” Tomsheck said.

However, it is an issue Tomsheck tells FOX5 he is all too familiar with. This is because he knows it will be months until his clients who are waiting in jail start their treatment in a competency restoration program.

This happens in state-run facilities, such as Muri Stein.

“A lot of people in that situation wind up in isolation, in lockdown, in medical housing 23 hours a day without the ability to communicate with anyone, and often just in need of treatment and medication they would recieve if they were transported sooner,” Tomsheck explained.

Dylan waited inside Clark County Detention Center for 124 days before he was transferred to Stein.

During this time, the jail was not able to force medication on him, which his mom Sally believes made his mental state even worse.

“You already told him and the world he is incompetent, so how are you allowing him to dictate his medication, he has a history?” Sally said.

“His situation spirals, he has difficulty interacting with others because he doesn’t understand what is going on around him,” Tomsheck said.

As Victoria discovered, Dylan’s case is not unique.

According to the state’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health, 127 inmates are waiting to be taken to Stein and their average wait time is 123 days inside the jail until they are transferred.

“It is the amount of commitments that we are receiving,’ Drew Cross, the state’s Forensics Director, said.

According to Cross, there are too many patients and not enough beds or staff to keep up with them. Cross said an inmate is in their facility for an average of 96 days during the competency restoration program.

There are plans to build a new facility with 300 additional beds, but it is not confirmed when it will be completed. As the state waits to fill the gap, Dylan’s mom hopes things will change soon.

“People with serious mental illness need to be treated and they deserve the same treatment, like someone with a medical illness,” Sally said.

Her hope is that Dylan will get the treatment he needs and then serve the time he deserves.

The Division of Public Health and Human Services provided the following statement:

“If the court finds a defendant incompetent and dangerous to himself/herself or to society, an order will be issued committing the individual to one of the state forensic hospitals where competency restoration will be attempted. Each client is assigned to a treatment team where individualized care is driven by a team of clinicians.

Treatment consists of education, medication, general medical needs, supportive services and frequent interactions with the clinical staff assigned to the case. As the client progresses, he/she will be evaluated and have reports written by the treating psychiatrist and psychologist along with a third clinician who is not on the assigned treatment team.

The reports are then submitted to the courts with the clinicians’ findings indicating competent or incompetent; however, the judge makes the final determination. If determined to be competent, the client will proceed with the criminal case. If incompetent, the client may be committed to a state civil hospital or for higher level criminal charges committed to a state forensic hospital.”


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