Forsyth County Superior Judge Steve Balog has ruled that Old Salisbury Road gunman Micahel Hayes must in remain in psychiatric at Dix Hospital:

Balog’s order said that “it is unclear from all of the testimony and evidence what exactly caused the psychotic break” that led Hayes to kill, making it unclear whether that disorder could happen again.

He added in his order a diagnosis that psychiatrists had not testified to in trial, that Hayes had a history of schizophreniform disorder.

Balog’s order also said that Hayes had a history of a substance-induced psychotic disorder, an unspecified personality disorder, and a history of dependence of several substances that was in remission in the controlled environment at Dix.

It’s not as if Hayes doesn’t have quite a bit of freedom as it is, argued attorney Karl Knudsen, the fact that Hayes has fathered two children during his time at Dix notwithstanding. If Hayes were capable of snapping again, he’d have plenty of opportunity to wreak more havoc:

Hayes is already out in the community, able to see his family for up to 7 days unsupervised. If he were so dangerous, prosecutors would not have agreed to that arrangement, Knudsen argued.

“We have a situation where the law compels the court to make a decision which may be unpopular, which may be difficult, but it’s the right thing to do,” Knudsen said in court last week.

Unpopular indeed. I can’t imagine anyone living here in the Triad when Hayes committed his crime, who remembers the details of the shootings and the surprising outcome of hs trial, would want him to be a totally free man. Ever.