Lake Oswego

Judge says man accused of Lake O murder competent to stand trial

Judge says man accused of Lake O murder competent to stand trial
Erik Meiser sits quietly during his competency hearing Tuesday, June 4, 2013 in a Clackamas County courtroom. He's accused of stabbing to death Fredrick "Fritz" Hayes of Lake Oswego last year.

OREGON CITY, Ore. – A judge ruled that Erik Meiser, who is accused of killing a Lake Oswego man in his own house, is competent to stand trial.

A judge heard testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday about Meiser and if he is mentally competent to be tried for allegedly killing Fredrick “Fritz” Hayes in September 2012.

Prosecutors say Meiser ambushed Hayes in his kitchen stabbed him to death with a machete.

The judge heard hours of testimony from a doctor who examined Meiser before ruling on Wednesday afternoon that Meiser was competent to stand trial.

A trial date was set for June 2014.

Under Oregon law, a competency hearing allows a judge to decide if a defendant is able to stand trial. The law says Meiser must be able to understand the proceedings, assist and cooperate with lawyers and participate in his own defense.

Christopher Lockey, chief psychiatrist at the Oregon State Hospital, examined Meiser at the state hospital. He thinks Meiser is competent but has a mental illness and sometimes delusions. For example, Meiser thinks people want to poison him or turn his child into a cannibal.