State hospital concludes Montwheeler unfit to stand trial

By Les Zaitz

The Enterprise

VALE – Oregon State Hospital evaluators have concluded that Anthony W. Montwheeler is mentally unfit to stand trial, creating uncertainty about when he will be prosecuted on charges he stabbed to death an ex-wife and killed a Vale man in a collision during a police pursuit.

Montwheeler’s attorney said in court filings last week that his client needs to be taken back to the state hospital and held for treatment until he can aid in his own defense.

Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe said Friday that he would contest the fitness finding, setting up the potential for a court hearing that would explore Montwheeler’s tangled criminal and mental health history.

Montwheeler, 50, is facing the death penalty if convicted of the aggravated murders in January 2017 of Annita Harmon, a Weiser woman once married to Montwheeler, and David Bates, killed while on . . .