NORTH BEND — On Monday, Coos County Circuit Court Judge Martin Stone approved a motion by state prosecutors to allow them to subpoena a number of local mental health facilities as part of its ongoing investigation into the death of 58-year-old Navy veteran Ramona Matthews.
Alexis M. Bergquist, 25, was arrested and taken into custody at 2590 Ash St. in North Bend on Dec. 31 after police say they found her inside the home of her deceased mother, Matthews, who died that evening from multiple stab wounds.
Bergquist, who was indicted last week by a Coos County grand jury on second-degree murder charges, appears to have a history of long term mental illness and substance abuse issues, wrote Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier in court documents.
Steven Skinner, a friend of Matthews, told The World that Matthews tried for about seven years to get her daughter, who would sometimes stay at her home, other times on the street, help for her mental health issues.
According to Skinner, Matthews at one point had a number of restraining orders against her daughter and even had a lock on her bedroom door as her daughter would from time to time display violent behavior.
Skinner went on to say that he believes Matthews' death could have been prevented and urges local officials and community members to call on improved mental healthcare services in Coos County for people in need.
"We lost a really wonderful person who was so helpful to the community," he said.
As outlined in court documents, on at least two prior criminal cases, Bergquist had been committed to the Oregon State Hospital, “to deal with competency issues that arose in those cases," Frasier wrote.
Authorities were informed during the investigation that Bergquist was a patient at Coos Health & Wellness and had previously received services from ADAPT, a substance abuse and addiction treatment facility, as well as from Pony Board and Care.
Coincidentally, Matthews had been working for ADAPT in North Bend at the time of her death and had previously expressed frustration that she was unable to get help for her daughter, Skinner recalled. It was not clear whether Bergquist refused care or why Matthews was unable to get her the mental health assistance she apparently needed.
Prosecutors are currently working to obtain Bergquist’s medical records to determine her mental status and whether or not she’s competent to proceed with a trial.
A scheduling conference regarding the case is set for Monday, Feb. 10, at the Coos County Courthouse in Coquille.