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Montwheeler prosecution hinges on new mental health findings

By Jayme Fraser

The Enterprise

VALE – The aggravated murder trial of Anthony Montwheeler might be put on hold for as long as three years after the Oregon State Hospital said a mental illness makes him unfit to stand trial, a finding that also delays a decision on whether he can successfully employ the insanity defense.

Montweeler’s record of crime has often tangled with competing medical judgments of whether he has a mental illness and if it causes his violent behavior. Psychiatrists can produce a variety of reports during a criminal case. Each document can potentially pause prosecution while the state hospital may be forced by law to release someone without ever facing trial, as was the case in a 1997 Aloha murder.

Montwheeler is accused of killing two people in January 2017, just three weeks after being released from the state hospital. According to charging documents, Montwheeler stabbed to . . .