Judge orders murder defendant to mental hospital

Published:

 

ST. HELENS, Ore. (AP) -- A judge has ordered that the man accused of fatally shooting the Rainier, Ore., police chief be returned to the Oregon State Hospital for additional mental health evaluation.

Columbia County Circuit Judge Ted Grove made the decision Thursday in the case of Daniel Butts.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/T4cOpA ) that concerns include whether Butts can assist in his own defense -- and treatment of a wound Butts suffered when he stabbed himself in the forehead with a pencil in January. County District Attorney Steve Atchison says the wound became infected but Butts refused treatment. Last month he was sent to a Portland jail for treatment. However when jailers saw the wound, they sent him to a hospital, and again he refused treatment and was returned to the Columbia County Jail.

The Kalama, Wash., man has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and related counts in the January 2011 shooting of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter, who had responded to a report of a suspicious person at a car stereo shop.

___

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com