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Butts hearing rescheduled

by: COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Daniel ButtsA hearing for a man accused of killing a Rainier police chief in 2011 has been rescheduled.

Daniel A. Butts was expected to appear in court at the Columbia County Courthouse Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 for a hearing that would determine whether or not he is able to aid in his own defense as the case pushes toward a trial. This hearing is now set for Dec. 12 at the request of Butts’ attorneys.

Butts faces multiple counts of aggravated murder, which could carry the death penalty. He is also facing charges of attempted aggravated murder and first-degree armed robbery, among others. His attorneys entered a plea of not guilty.

Butts was arrested January 2011 following the killing of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter at a Rainier stereo shop.

He has been held at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem on a prior hold and pending a variety of mental health evaluations.

Earlier this year, Butts stabbed himself in the forehead with a pencil. He refused treatment and the wound became infected.

Since his arrest, Butts has gone on a brief hunger strike and has reportedly refused to take his prescribed psychotropic medication. He has also refused to interact with his attorneys and waived his right of appearance at past hearings, Columbia County District Attorney Steve Atchison said.

Columbia County Circuit Judge Ted Grove had previously ruled Butts could aid in his own defense, saying the accused man was “gaming the system.”