KENNEWICK – A man accused of kidnapping and assault has been ordered to return to a state hospital for his sixth evaluation by psychologists since his arrest.
Benton County Judge Bruce Spanner signed an order last week sending 35-year-old David Castaneda to Eastern State Hospital for an evaluation of his competency, the Tri-City Herald reported.
Castaneda is charged with kidnapping, burglary, assault and illegal gun possession after two men were attacked at their Kennewick home in an apparent attempt to steal guns.
Castaneda’s ongoing mental health has forced not just multiple stays at a state hospital but also a mistrial. The move came after concerns that Castaneda couldn’t assist his attorney in his defense.
Defense attorney Dennis Hanson has said that Castaneda wasn’t communicating clearly, triggering a mistrial.
Eastern State Hospital psychologist Nathan Henry, who evaluated Castaneda four times between April and December, said Castaneda suffers from adjustment disorder, a condition triggered by stress. The disorder can manifest as sadness, anxiety, headaches, heart palpitations and problems sleeping.
“It is my opinion that Mr. Castaneda does not have a mental disease or defect that would be expected to prevent him from having the capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense,” Henry said in a recent report.
Judges filed orders on June 30 and Aug. 30 finding Castaneda competent.
Castaneda is accused of attacking a Kennewick man at his home. Police say Castaneda, armed with a gun, tied up the victim and demanded the location of weapons and child pornography. The victim denies having either of those items. Castaneda is also accused of attacking the victim’s roommate.
His next court appearance is Jan. 26.
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