Stamford man to be sent to maximum security mental ward for mom’s home invasion

A city man with a long history of mental illness, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity earlier this year of home invasion after breaking into his mother’s home and tying her up in 2012, appears to be headed to a high security state mental hospital for a long time.

At a hearing for Todd Blackman, 47, at state Superior Court in Stamford Wednesday, licensed Clinical Social worker Julie Pratt was put on the stand to discuss her report on Blackman’s mental history before Judge Richard Comerford and give her recommendations as to where he should be incarcerated.

Pratt said that in her 10 page report on Blackman that she diagnosed him with schizophrenia, a disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference from what is real or not.

Under questioning by Blackman’s attorney Howard Ehring, Pratt told Comerford that Blackman has had behavioral problems since the early 1970s and numerous hospitalizations dating back to the 1980s.

She said that Blackman has suffered from schizophrenia for a long time, according to the psychiatric records that she reviewed of his case.

Pratt said her recommendation to Comerford for Blackman’s sentencing on August 14 was to put him under this jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board and keep him in a state hospital maximum security mental ward. The Psychiatric Security Review Board at the Whiting Forensic Unit of Connecticut Valley Hospital has charge over many of the state’s most troubled mental patients sent to the hospital after being found guilty of horrifying crimes by reason of insanity. The board must approve each stage of their discharge process.

On Nov. 20, 2012 Blackman was charged by Stamford police with home invasion, third-degree robbery, third-degree assault, and second-degree unlawful restraint.

He was arrested after his 73-year-old mother reported he had entered her Pequot Drive home and tied her by her wrist, hands, and feet to her bed using clothing.

Arriving officers found Blackman still rooting through a room for cash and other valuables.

Her mother testified at his trial earlier this year, but said that she did not want him to go to jail, but get the psychological help he needed.

At the end of the hearing Thursday, Blackman rose to his feet and looked as though he was going to protest Pratt’s findings on his mental health, but he was led out of the courtroom without uttering a word.