Montwheeler attorney asks for delay of competency hearing

VALE - Anthony Montwheeler’s lead defense attorney said he is unprepared to debate his client’s mental competency in court, asking the judge to delay a June hearing on the matter.

Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ryan scheduled a hearing on the delay for 9 a.m. Friday. Ryan, from Multnomah County, took over the case after local judges stepped down.

The 50-year-old faces murder and kidnapping charges in the kidnapping and killing of an ex-wife, Annita Harmon, outside an Ontario gas station and the death of Vale resident, David Bates, in a head-on collision during a police pursuit in January 2017.

A month before, the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board had set Montwheeler free after 19 years. He had been under their supervision since a court said he was guilty except for insanity in the kidnapping of another former . . .