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Butts Hearing

Posted on 30th December 2011 at 09:36

The mental competency hearing for Daniel Butts, 22, of Kalama will wrap up next Tuesday afternoon. At 3 pm on Tuesday, the 3rd, closing arguments in the hearing will be presented to Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove, then he’ll decide if Butts is competent to stand trial. Butts has yet to enter a plea on the 24-count indictment filed against him in connection with the January 5th shooting death of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter. Testifying for the defense, psychiatrist Jerry Larsen contends that Butts has a personal and family history of mental illness, and that it would be almost impossible for him to “fake” the psychotic behavior that he’s been engaged in over the past year. Speaking for the prosecution, forensic psychologist Brooke Howard says that Butts behavior is “disruptive, not psychotic.” Detectives say that Butts seemed to be normal at the time of his arrest; District Attorney Steve Atchison says that Butts’ behavior changed around the time that the indictment was handed down. The purpose of this hearing is only to determine if is competent to stand trial. If it’s determined that he is not competent, then he’d been transferred to Oregon State Hospital in Salem for up to three years of treatment, to try and get him to a state of competency.