Factual and procedural background
Brandon Nelson was a 26-year-old engineering graduate who developed acute psychosis in Jan. 2018. He told a police officer friend that he needed to borrow a handgun to kill himself because he felt evil and animal-like. The friend called the police, and Brandon was placed on a psychiatric hold for 72 hours in an inpatient psychiatric facility. He was subsequently treated for six weeks, first in Pasadena at Las Encinas Mental Hospital (LEMH) and subsequently in Laguna Beach at Mission Hospital. The hospital records at LEMH noted that Brandon was delusional, paranoid, believed he was being recorded, was fearful, and was considered gravely disabled. LEMH discharged him on Feb. 23rd. He was then admitted to Mission Hospital three days later on Feb. 26 on a new psychiatric hold after he again threatened to commit suicide. Brandon signed a durable power of attorney (POA) on Feb. 27, granting his father, Allen Nelson, power of attorney to handle Brandon’s financial affairs and personal care, including the ability to use Brandon’s resources for placement in a residential care or skilled nursing facility.