News

McKinstry found unfit for trial

Garrett J. McKinstry, the Kingston man suspected of stabbing and killing his father in October 2007, won’t stand trial until he is deemed fit by mental health evaluators.

McKinstry’s prosecuting and defending attorneys met in court Monday morning to review evaluations completed by doctors at Western State Hospital, a mental health evaluation and recovery center in Tacoma.

“They are indicating he is currently not competent to stand trial. At this point we are unable to proceed with the prosecution until his competency is restored,” said Kevin Hull, Kitsap County prosecuting attorney.

When McKinstry was initially evaluated, doctors at Western State Hospital indicated he was fit to stand trial, Hull said.

“Competency is fairly simple,” he said. “It basically means you understand who you are and are aware of what is going on around you.”

But somewhere between the initial evaluation and now, things have changed.

About a month ago McKinstry refused to attend his trial in Kitsap County Superior Court. When the trial was brought to his holding cell, he became irate, said Kitsap County Sheriff Deputy Scott Wilson.

McKinstry, now 22, was ordered to go back to the hospital for a second evaluation after the incident. However, at that time the hospital was unable to accommodate McKinstry because there were no available patient beds.

Western State Hospital is a mental health institution that services 19 counties in Western Washington with the ability to house and treat 776 inpatients.

Hull said it is not uncommon for beds to be full.

McKinstry was entered in the hospital a little more than a week ago and will remain there until he is deemed competent and able to stand trial.

“It will be 90 days at this point for competency to be restored,” Hull said. “If it can’t at that point, then (the hospital) will hold him until he is made competent.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.