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Man who assaulted two officers pleads guilty for reasons of insanity

Thomas Moyers sentenced to spend up to 20 years under psychiatric board's supervision
News Editor
   July 2, 2003 — A man who attacked two officers with rocks and their own pepper spray has pleaded guilty for reasons of insanity to two assault charges.
    In a negotiated settlement, Thomas Wayne Moyers, 55, avoided facing a potential Measure 11 conviction. In exchange for his plea, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and several related charges were dismissed.
    Moyers has been sentenced to a maximum period not to exceed 20 years under the supervision of the state Psychiatric Security Review Board. He is lodged at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem.
    Moyers was arrested last August. In early court hearings he displayed erratic behavior that District Attorney Peter Deuel politely described as “unusual and inappropriate dialogue” for the court.
    In December, he was ordered to undergo mental evaluations to determine whether he was fit to stand trial. After a stay at the state hospital in Salem, Moyers was returned to local authorities, where he was able to reach a settlement with prosecutors.
    Under the terms of a guilty for reasons of insanity plea, the state Psychiatric Security Review Board is given the authority to determine when subjects under its jurisdiction are fit to be released back into the community.
    Moyers will have a hearing before the board within 90 days, in which it will determine whether he requires continued hospitalization.
    The board also has the authority to end his supervision completely.
    “There is the potential he will be released to community supervision,” Deuel said. “More usually, individuals sent over under the circumstances in Mr. Moyers’ case will remain in the hospital longer for further observation and evaluation.
    “But I am not in a position to predict what decision will be made.”
    Moyers’ conviction includes two counts of second-degree assault.
    Last August, a state trooper and Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy went to Moyer’s mother’s home outside of Madras to arrest him on an outstanding felony warrant from Deschutes County.
    Moyers resisted when the officers tried to take him into custody, and a struggle ensued that Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Adkins described at the time as a “mess.”
    Moyers struck both trooper Clint Prevett and Deputy Bryan Skidgel with softball-sized rocks, causing them minor injuries. He also was able to spray Prevett with his own pepper spray after the officer took him to the ground.
    Moyers himself had been hit twice with pepper spray during the struggle, but fought on. Investigators said at the time that Moyers was lucky to escape the incident alive, because Skidgel had drawn his firearm but couldn’t get a clear shot at Moyers as he wrestled with Prevett.