- Associated Press - Saturday, April 29, 2017

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - An eastern Oregon prosecutor wants to double-check the psychological evaluation of a man facing a murder charge to make sure the defendant isn’t faking mental illness.

Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus said he wants to see raw data from psychological exams that Oscar Villegas Garcia, 26, of Milton-Freewater could use to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Police say Garcia stabbed and killed his wife and tried to kill their two young children in May 2016.

Garcia is charged with murder, four counts of attempted murder and seven other felonies.

Primus said he wants to make sure Garcia isn’t another Tony Montwheeler, The East Oregonian reported in a story on Friday (https://bit.ly/2qqdmHD).

Montwheeler was discharged from the state mental hospital in December after telling the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board that he faked mental illness for 20 years to stay out of prison following the 1996 kidnapping of his first wife and son.

Montwheeler, 49, is now charged with murder after police say he killed a different ex-wife in January after kidnapping her in Idaho. He then collided head-on with a vehicle while fleeing police in Oregon, killing the driver.

Terry Templeman, a clinical psychologist in Pendleton, evaluated Villegas and wrote a report.

Primus questioned some of the findings in the report and said he needs the raw data the report is based on so an independent psychologist can make an evaluation.

Defense attorney Kara Davis argued against having a second professional evaluate the information. “I’m not necessarily comfortable with letting the state have chance after chance to talk to doctor after doctor to get the results, to get whatever results they’re looking for,” Davis told the court.

Judge Lynn Hampton told the two sides to work it out, and if that wasn’t possible, she would set a date to hear arguments.

___

Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.com


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