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Defense attorney blames state for discharging Montwheeler

By Les Zaitz

The Enterprise

VALE – State officials “wrongly” released a mentally ill Anthony Montwheeler from their control last year and now may be liable for their negligence, his attorney said in a new court filing.

Montwheeler was discharged from the Oregon State Hospital last December and less than a month later was accused of kidnapping and murdering an ex-wife, and killing a Vale man and injuring his wife in a collision while eluding police.

His freedom came after state doctors reversed 20 years of diagnoses to conclude Montwheeler didn’t appear mentally ill but remained a risk to the community. Montwheeler himself said he faked his illness to avoid a prison sentence for a 1996 kidnapping.

David Falls, Montwheeler’s attorney, now maintains in a filing in Malheur County Circuit Court that Montwheeler has a “long history of mental illness.”

The court filing opposes an effort by Malheur . . .