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Sen. Deeds Speaks to CBS News About Attack

January 23, 2014

We are learning new details about the moments that led to the November attack on Sen. Creigh Deeds and the death of his son, Gus.

Deeds has opened up for the first time on camera since the stabbing and suicide in an interview with CBS News' Scott Pelley.

Showing scars of where he was slashed multiple times by his own son, Deeds told Pelley, "Gus was a great kid. He was a perfect son."

In the interview, Deeds said his son was the victim of a broken mental health system.

By November 19, it was too little too late for the 24-year-old with bipolar disorder.

Deeds said he doesn't want the disorder to define his son, though it caused a defining moment in both of their lives.

"It's clear that the system...that failed Gus, killed Gus," said Deeds.

Fearful son would commit suicide, Deeds got a court order and sheriff's deputies to take Gus to an emergency room the night before the incident.

When no psychiatric bed could be located within six hours, it was legally time for Gus to head home.

"He was coming home, and I was concerned that if he came home, there was going to be a crisis," said Deeds.

Deeds said he expected a confrontation the next morning, but not a violent one.

"I went out to the barn to feed the horses and Gus was coming out across the yard and I said, 'Hey, bud. How'd you sleep?' He said, 'fine.' I turned my back and, you know, I turned my back and had this feed thing in my hands and he was just on me," said Deeds.

Deeds was stabbed ten times. While Deeds was taken to a hospital, Gus turned a gun on himself.

Now Deeds is pushing for legislative change to increase the amount of time a person can be held in emergency custody from six hours to 24 hours. He also wants to develop an online registry of all available psychiatric beds in the state.

The legislation passed its first hurdle Wednesday when a senate subcommittee advanced it.

The full interview with Deeds will air on 60 Minutes on Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. on CBS.

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