Meiser ruled not yet fit for trial

Erik John Meiser, Sept. 22, 2012 (KOIN 6 News file)
Erik John Meiser, Sept. 22, 2012 (KOIN 6 News file)

OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — The man accused of slashing a man to death in Lake Oswego is not at this time fit to stand trial, though he may be able to do so in the future.

Erik Meiser is accused of killing Frederick Hayes in September 2012 during a burglary.

In April 2013, doctors at the Oregon State Hospital said Meiser was fit to stand trial, and Meiser requested a speedy trial. But the judge told Meiser his attorneys needed time to prepare a defense.

Over the ensuing months, Meiser, 39, has had hearings to determine his mental competency. On Monday, the judge ruled Meiser is not at this time able to assist in his own defense and was ordered to undergo treatment at the state hospital.

He is expected to be competent enough for trial later on.

If he goes to trial and is convicted, he could face the death penalty for the killing of the 57-year-old Hayes.

The next key date in the Meiser case is June 9, when there will be a status hearing on the case.

The trial is scheduled to start in June and could last six weeks. However, it would be put off if Meiser is still not deemed competent to stand trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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