A Mother's Torch

'Insane' mom sentenced in 1998 burning death of two kids

Most of those in attendance at Blake's sentencing paid scant attention to a short exchange between Judge Schwartz and Phoenix attorney Art Gorman on that topic. Gorman is representing Blake and Johnny Fausto in a Superior Court civil suit against the mental-health agency that turned the troubled mother away before the fire.

Earlier, Gorman submitted papers alleging that the 120-day rule is unconstitutional because it "does not contain release provisions sensitive to, and triggered by a patient's recovery of sanity. Therefore, Ms. Blake cannot be committed to the state hospital and must be returned to the same nursing facility where she has lived for the past three years."

The judge denied Gorman's request. Actually, the odds that the board will release Blake from the state hospital after the 120-day period are slim, whatever her mental state. Of the 95 individuals under the board's jurisdiction as of June 22, only a handful have been released to the "community," and all but a few of those people under strict supervision.

Kelly Blake and her children a few years before the fire.
Kelly Blake and her children a few years before the fire.

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