HILLSBORO, N.D. — A Texas woman accused of shooting two men outside a Traill County residence in June will no longer face charges stemming from the incident after a judge ruled she was not mentally fit to be found responsible for the crime.
After a court-ordered mental health evaluation, a judge on Wednesday, Sept. 11, found 42-year-old Sadie Rix not guilty of her original aggravated assault charge.
In light of the evaluation’s results, Traill County State's Attorney Charles Stock is no longer pursuing a charge of attempted murder added in July.
Rix will not serve jail time, but District Court Judge Steven McCullough has ordered she undergo further inpatient evaluation to determine a mental health treatment plan.
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On June 28, Rix allegedly shot her boyfriend and his brother after an argument broke out near a home in Portland, about 60 miles northwest of Fargo. According to court documents, she pointed a .38 caliber handgun at one of the men and shot the other as he ran from the area.
The men were able to drive themselves to the hospital and have since recovered.
Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt said Rix barricaded herself in a van and a standoff with police ensued. Four hours later, officers arrested Rix when they forced her out by introducing gas into the van.
Rix’s bail was initially set at $50,000 in July, but that was later revoked by a judge who ordered her to have a mental health evaluation at the North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown. Her boyfriend, who had been traveling the country with Rix in a van, told investigators that Rix was paranoid that she thought she was being stalked.
According to court documents, doctors at the state hospital diagnosed Rix with “unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder,” meaning her symptoms meet some but not all criteria for any one type of schizophrenia diagnosis.
Blake Hankey, Rix’s defense attorney, said the court’s decision does not come without conditions.
“I think it's important for people to know you just don't get the charges dismissed and they are back out on the street,” he said.
In addition to inpatient evaluation, Rix is required by the court to take any prescribed medications. She is also required to return to court at least once a year for the next five years to ensure her treatment is working.
Evaluators are expected by the court to have a treatment plan within 90 days of the ruling.