Suspect in slaying of Oregon police chief ruled impaired

Trial will be delayed indefinitely

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ST. HELENS — A judge has ruled that a man accused of killing the Rainier, Ore., police chief is mentally impaired and can’t assist with his defense, indefinitely delaying a trial.

The Longview Daily News reports Judge Ted Grove ruled Wednesday that 23-year-old Daniel Butts should be forcibly medicated.

Under Oregon law, a defendant found to be mentally impaired goes to the State Hospital for treatment until declared able to assist lawyers.

Butts is accused of aggravated murder in the shooting of Chief Ralph Painter in January 2011, after Painter responded to a report of a suspicious person at a car stereo shop.

His lawyers said in hearings last week that the Kalama, Wash., man is psychotic and won’t meet with them or help make decisions. Prosecutors argue Butts is faking illness.