The Wisconsin woman who shot her two sons and then killed herself two weeks ago was reportedly released from a state mental health facility only a day earlier, authorities said Friday.
Morgan Slaight, 27, was taken to Winnebago Mental Health Institute on Dec. 22, 2014, after the Sheriff’s Office received a phone call about her making suicidal threats, Capt. Anthony Sheckles told The Wisconsin State Journal.
Sheriff Nate Dreckman said that emergency commitments are not uncommon. “A lot of times, they are there and getting help and once the mental health professionals decide they are OK and able to go back home, they are sent home,” he added.
Slaight was released from Winnebago on Jan. 1. A day later, at her sister’s home, she did the unthinkable. She grabbed her brother-in-law's .22-caliber pistol and shot her 8-year-old son, Jaxon, and 6-year-old son, Joseph. She then shot herself behind the ear, according to police.
Jaxon was found dead on the scene, and Slaight died on Tuesday at University of Wisconsin hospital. Joseph is in critical condition, but Dreckman said the boy is showing signs of improvement.
Slaight's third son, Charlie, 2, was living with other relatives at the time of the shooting.
Officials say Slaight made no threats to harm anyone other than herself prior to her commitment. Authorities are now investigating what could have triggered the double murder suicide attempt.
Online court records show that Slaight pleaded guilty to felony possession of a stolen vehicle in January of 2012, when she lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her children were taken by Human Resources after Slaight and her husband sought treatment for methamphetamine addiction.
Slaight was showing signs of improvement after being released from jail in July of 2012. She was on top of her court-ordered community service hours and regained custody of her children after completing treatment.
A week before her emergency commitment at Winnebago, the Tulsa County Juvenile Division in Oklahoma renewed the custody order, although there is some confusion about when exactly the document was delivered and if it was ever received.
The certified mail receipt said the document was delivered on the "20th," but it doesn’t mention a month or a year, or an address for Slaight, according to The Wisconsin State Journal.
Slaight’s husband, Tyler, claims that he received a document that listed Morgan as the custodian. The mail receipt for that document states it was delivered on Dec. 31, 2014.
However, Tulsa family law attorney M. Shane Henry said that the document sent to Slaight lists the Department of Human Services as the custodian of the children.
Slaight’s family members said she appeared to be in a good mood on the day of the shoting. They added that she was not under the influence of any drugs other than ones prescribed to her.
“Either way you look at it, it’s a tragedy,” Dreckman said.