Macias was subsequently treated for gunshots wound at Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta before being rearrested and booked into jail on Nov. 12, 2019, where he remains in custody.

Due to the seriousness of the crimes he’s being charged with and the circumstances of the case, a judge on Thursday denied any pretrial mental health diversion for Jesse B. Macias during a hearing at the Siskiyou County courthouse in Yreka.

Macias, a 19 year-old from Mount Shasta, has been in custody at the Siskiyou County Jail since Nov. 12, 2019 on charges that include attempted murder of a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. During the encounter with law enforcement on Nov. 5, Macias suffered gunshot injuries after he reportedly threatened Sheriff’s deputies with a knife.

As a result of the denial for mental health diversion, the public defenders representing Macias entered a plea of not guilty by insanity on all counts. Court appointed doctors have been assigned to evaluate Macias before his next scheduled hearing on Tuesday, April 28.

Macias’ attorneys said he has a long history of mental health issues that potentially played a role in the fateful encounter. They were hoping to make use of newly enacted legislation that lets some people with mental disorders get treatment when they are charged with a crime instead of being tried in the court.

Under California’s Penal Code 1001.36, a program known as “mental health diversion” allows some criminal defendants to get mental health treatment and have criminal charges against them dismissed. Felony defendants can be considered for mental health diversion, but only if the court agrees that certain criteria have been met.

Siskiyou County Superior Court Judge John Lawrence presided over the March 12 hearing and offered his explanation of the ruling, citing the lack of resources in the county, the personal history of the defendant, and the seriousness of the charges as reasons to deny a diversion.

“First of all, our mental health court that is addressing folks that are diverted under the statute is in its infancy,” Lawrence said. “We are a large geographic county with a small population. A small population means that we have limited services. When we are looking at screening people that could be diverted, we have to balance that person’s mental health needs with what we can provide in our community.”

Lawrence described evidence of the defendant’s long struggle with mental illness and increasing instability leading up to the confrontation with law enforcement as “extensive, to put it lightly.”

“The last three-plus years of records indicate an ongoing, intensive struggle with severe mental illness,” said Lawrence. “Even with therapy and psychiatric medication, Mr. Macias has struggled on a regular basis.”

Court reports indicate that in the weeks prior to the incident, Macias’ doctor increased his psychotropic medication to deal with a rapid “slide into crisis.”

“His needs are significant, and we don’t have the resources,” Lawrence said. The judge explained that due to the danger of Macias to himself and to the community, there was little alternative but to deny the request. Without any inpatient treatment in the county, the court would have to release him to outpatient care if a diversion were granted.

“Quite frankly, I felt that the potential risk to the community was significant and that he would pose a risk,” Lawrence said.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Macias’ Douglas Lane home on the morning of Nov. 3, 2019, at the request of Macias’ father, who reported his son was acting in a strange manner and possibly having a mental health episode.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies found Macias “armed with two large knives.” Macias allegedly threatened one or more of the peace officers, and an officer-involved shooting ensued. The deputies were not injured, nor were Mount Shasta Police Department officers who also responded to the incident.

Macias was subsequently treated for gunshots wound at Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta before being rearrested and booked into jail on Nov. 12, 2019, where he remains in custody.

As is standard procedure after officer-involved shootings in the county, the Siskiyou County Interagency Critical Investigation Team was activated. The criminal investigation is being led by the Yreka Police Department with assistance from investigators with the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office, the Weed Police Department and Etna Police Department, said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey.

The Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit is conducting their own administrative investigation, which is also standard procedure in officer involved shooting cases, Lopey said. The team is comprised of a detective sergeant, two detectives and a forensic technician.