Judge declares Montwheeler fit, schedules plea on murder, other charges

Anthony Montwheeler sits in a Vale courtroom on Friday, Jan. 4, as Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan conducts proceedings through a video link. (Les Zaiz/The Enterprise)

VALE – Anthony Montwheeler, in custody for two years and in and out of the state’s mental hospital, is now scheduled to answer the charges against him of aggravated murder, first-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping.

He is to appear in Malheur County Circuit Court on Feb. 22 to tell a judge how he pleads to charges stemming from a Jan. 9, 2017, episode in which two people died and a third was injured. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

The plea was set after Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan, handling Montwheeler’s criminal case, concluded Friday that the defendant was mentally fit for trial . . .