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Judge rules alleged stabber unfit to stand trial

Daniel Ortiz to receive treatment at Oregon State Hospital

OrtizA Tigard teenager charged with attempted murder after he allegedly stabbed a retired Portland police officer in the head is unfit to stand trial, a judge ruled last week.

Daniel Alfredo Ortiz, 17, was arrested in January after he allegedly stabbed a woman twice with a kitchen knife while she was walking down the street.

Washington County Circuit Court Judge Charles Bailey ruled on June 8 that Ortiz was unable to aid and assist in his own defense after a psychological evaluation was performed.

In April, Ortiz’s attorney, William Redden, filed a motion saying that Ortiz wasn’t of sound enough mind to stand trial.

“In my preparation of this case, I immediately become concerned that (Ortiz) was unable to understand the nature of the proceedings against him,” Redden wrote to the court on April 4.

Ortiz was charged with attempted murder as well as first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon after he attacked a 59-year-old woman on Jan. 2. Police said the woman, a retired officer with the Portland Police Bureau, was walking her dog along Southwest Walnut Street near 114th Avenue at about 8 p.m., Jan. 2 when she was attacked.

Ortiz allegedly asked the woman for a cigarette, then stabbed her in the head and back with a kitchen knife before running away.

Two witnesses driving past at the time of the attack stopped to help. The driver of the vehicle ran after the attacker and helped police located the suspect, while the other stayed with the woman and called 911.

Despite his age, Ortiz is being prosecuted as an adult. Under Measure 11, teens over the age of 15 charged with violent crimes are automatically tried as adults.

Ortiz has had several run-ins with police over the past few years. A year ago he was arrested after he allegedly threatened his neighbor with a kitchen knife outside his home.

Before Judge Bailey’s ruling, a clinical psychologist met with Ortiz twice while in custody at the request of Ortiz’s attorney. Both times, Ortiz refused to speak with her.

“His mouth hung open, spit ran down his chin onto his clothing and he kept his eyes mostly closed,” the psychologist wrote in court documents available to the public.

According to court documents, Ortiz’s psychotic symptoms began in 2013. His social worker noted that Ortiz had been drinking, smoking marijuana and taking methamphetamine from the age of 13 while living in California.

Ortiz had seven prior psychiatric hospitalizations, five of which occurred in California before his family moved to Oregon in 2014 in order to escape the drug and gang culture, according to court documents.

In 2015, Ortiz was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. He suffered from delusions, hallucinations, elevated and agitated moods, hypersexuality and several problems with attention and concentration. He believed his parents were Satan.

Prosecutors conducted their own psychological evaluation as well, which was sealed by the court.

Judge Bailey ruled that Ortiz be sent to the Oregon State Hospital in Salem for treatment. Bailey ruled that he be kept in a secure facility.

By Geoff Pursinger
Assistant Editor
The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood
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