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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Patricia Heath

Bayview murder suspect unfit for trial

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A district judge has suspended the criminal case against a Bayview man accused of attacking four neighbors with a hammer, killing one, because a psychologist has determined he’s unfit to stand trial.  

 The ruling last week is in the case of Larry Cragun, 31, who is charged with first-degree murder and other felonies in the Dec. 19 death of Patricia Heath, 43, and attacks on others.  

Cragun has been ordered into the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction for care and treatment. First District Judge Benjamin Simpson also ordered a progress report on Cragun’s status in 90 days.  

Kootenai County Prosecutors Barry McHugh told The Coeur d’Alene Press the case will no longer go forward until Cragun understands the charges and is better able to assist in his own defense.  

Cragun is accused of bursting into his neighbors’ trailer home and attacking them with a hammer and knife. He has pleaded not guilty.   

The attack at 34552 N. Limekiln Road in Bayview followed weeks of problems between the Heaths and Cragun, including bizarre claims by the suspect that authorities say were unfounded, including an allegation that Heath's son was “placing pubic hair in Cragun's food,” according to a police report.

After the attack, customers at JD's Resort told authorities that Cragun had said he needed to call 911 because he'd killed three or four people. He didn't complete the phone call. Instead, he grabbed a customer's beer “drank it, and left a dollar on the bar,” according to the police report.

Witnesses told police Cragun posted flyers suggesting there was an umbrella submerged in Lake Pend Oreille that, along with GPS tracking satellites, allowed the government to read peoples’ minds.  

Heath died of massive head trauma the day after the attack, and three others were injured. He also faces two counts of first-degree attempted murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and burglary.  
The judge ordered a mental health evaluation for Cragun in March.

The evaluation was conducted by Dr. Chad Sombke, of Boise, who concluded Cragun is unfit mentally to proceed with his case.

Past coverage:

Dec. 20: 1 dead, 3 injured in Bayview hammer attack

Hammer attack victim improving in CdA

A woman seriously injured in a hammer attack that killed another woman is improving at a Coeur d'Alene hospital.

Lorraine Y. Wallis, 58, has been upgraded to fair condition, Kootenai Medical Center employees said Wednesday. 

Wallis was in critical condition after being beaten with a hammer at a mobile home in Bayview on Sunday. Patricia A. Heath, 43, died from head injuries suffered in the attack.

Their neighbor, Larry W. Cragun, 31, remains in Kootenai County Jail on $1 million bail on charges of murder, burglary and aggravated battery. H

Heath's husband, Michael L. Heath, did not require medical attention. Jedidah M. Heath, 21, was treated and released the day of the attack.

The attack at 34552 N. Limekiln Road in Bayview followed weeks of problems between the Heaths and Cragun, including bizarre claims by the suspect that authorities say were unfounded.

Cragun reportedly visited three Bayview businesses after the attack and said he'd killed four poeple with a hammer.

Customers at JD's Resort also told authorities that Cragun had said he needed to call 911 because he'd killed three or four people. He didn't complete the phone call. Instead, he grabbed a customer's beer “drank it, and left a dollar on the bar,” according to a police report.

Past coverage: Dec. 20: 1 dead, 3 injured in Bayview hammer attack

Neighbor dispute ends in deadly attack

A North Idaho woman died Monday after she and three others were bludgeoned with a hammer in what authorities describe as an ongoing neighbor dispute that took a violent twist.

A suspect, Larry W. Cragun, 31, was arrested after employees at several Bayview businesses said he walked in after the attack and said he’d “just killed four people with a hammer,” according to police reports.

Cragun, who residents say has a history of odd behavior, remains in Kootenai County Jail on $1 million bail, charged with murder in the beating death of Patricia A. Heath, 43. Three others survived the attack, though one remains in critical condition.

The attack at Heath’s mobile home at 34552 N. Limekiln Road in Bayview followed weeks of problems between her family and Cragun, including bizarre claims by the suspect that authorities say were unfounded.

Read my full story here.

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