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News / Northwest

Former Spokane bull rider accused in killing is found unfit

Court records say he fatally shot his grandmother's nurse

By Alexandra Duggan, The Spokesman-Review
Published: May 16, 2024, 8:34pm

SPOKANE — A former Spokane bull rider accused of killing his grandmother’s nurse because he thought the nurse was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks is unfit to stand trial, court records show.

A judge civilly committed Mitchell Chandler, 35, to a health services hospital because he is unable to assist in his own defense. Court records say he has a history of schizophreniclike symptoms, threatening behavior and brain trauma from head injuries sustained as a bull rider.

Chandler was charged with murder in 2022 when he was accused of shooting and killing his grandmother’s home nurse, Douglas Brant. Brant worked as a Providence nurse since 2005, mostly on the West Side. He spent the past four years working in Spokane as a senior home health nurse and certified wound treatment associate at Providence Visiting Nurses Association Home Health.

Jean Chandler, Mitchell Chandler’s grandmother, told police Brant arrived at her house Dec. 1, 2022, at Cascade Mobile Home Park, 2311 W. 16th Ave. It was Brant’s first visit to the home Jean Chandler shares with her husband, Willard Chandler, and their grandson, according to documents.

The Chandler couple and Brant were in the living room during the appointment while Mitchell Chandler was cooking in the kitchen, Jean Chandler told police. The kitchen is next to the living room, so Mitchell Chandler would have been able to hear Brant and his grandparents talking, court records said.

Mitchell Chandler walked from the kitchen to Brant and shot Brant, documents said. Jean Chandler said she tried to speak to her grandson, but he walked away without talking to her.

Jean Chandler said her grandson left the residence and she called police.

Mitchell Chandler told detectives after his arrest he shot Brant in “self-defense” because he heard references to 9/11, terrorism, snipers and wire-tapping, court records show.