SOUTH BEND -- A National Guardsman who was released from jail in November after being declared not responsible for his crime by reason of insanity has been arrested again, this time for allegedly driving drunk.
Archie Whitest Jr.'s vehicle allegedly reeked of alcohol when he was pulled over by an Indiana state trooper on Christmas Eve in South Bend, according to a police report. The officer found an open bottle of alcohol and a loaded handgun near the passenger seat, the report said.
In October, 37-year-old Whitest received a rarely seen verdict in St. Joseph Superior Court on a charge that he threatened the life of a security worker at Hickory Village Apartments.
Judge Jane Woodward Miller found Whitest not responsible by reason of insanity, following a bench trial that included testimony from medical experts who determined he was delusional and severely mentally ill at the time of the offense.
One of the doctors concluded that Whitest, who reportedly served in Iraq several years ago, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression with psychotic features, according to court documents.
Whitest was released from jail Nov. 30, and ordered to receive outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment for up to 90 days.
When Whitest was pulled over near Lincoln Way East and Leer Street Dec. 24, he had a blood-alcohol content of .20, according to a police report.
During the previous incident at Hickory Village, his blood-alcohol content was .26, according to court records.
Whitest is a medic for the National Guard, of which he has been a member since 2005, according to Maj. Shawn Gardner, spokesman for the Indiana National Guard.
Whitest's trial attorney, Gary Griner, said he believed that prior to joining the National Guard, Whitest served on active duty in Iraq.
"It's a sad situation," Gardner said. "(The local National Guard) is aware of his condition and the sad condition (Whitest) finds himself in. They are working with authorities to ensure they can help bring his situation to a better outcome."
Gardner said he could not comment further on Whitest's mental state, citing federal medical record privacy laws.
On the night of the Christmas Eve arrest, Whitest was allegedly being combative with the arresting officer on the street as well as at the jail, eventually needing to be placed in a restraint chair while calling out obscenities and yelling he was a medic in the National Guard, according to the police report.
Whitest now faces one count of driving while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor, and driving while intoxicated after having been convicted of driving while intoxicated, a Class D felony.
"I was upset (about the latest incident)," Griner said. "Archie had some mental health problems, but I thought he was a pretty good guy and would avoid these kinds of things."
Whitest bonded out of jail immediately after being arrested, and is now out of police custody. His bond was set at the standard DUI amount of $500, despite the state's request that bond be set at a higher-than-standard level, given Whitest's history.
Under Indiana law, Whitest's psychiatric commitment can become more restrictive if the treating facility's superintendent feels it necessary. It was not clear from court records whether his treatment plan had been amended since the Christmas Eve arrest.
Gardner said Whitest is currently not eligible to be activated in the National Guard because of his medical situation.
Staff writer Mary Kate Malone: