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For the third time in three years, a 53-year-old man accused of fatally shooting one man and injuring another at a rural Nevada church in 2018 has been found incompetent to stand trial and ordered to remain in custody at a psychiatric hospital.
John O’Connor of Fallon has been in custody at the mental facility in Sparks since September 2018 when a Churchill County judge first determined he lacked the necessary competency to assist in his legal defense.
He has pleaded not guilty to four charges, including first-degree murder, in the shooting two months earlier during Sunday services at a rural church in Fallon about 60 miles east of Reno.
O’Connor is charged with murder in the killing of Charles “Bert” Miller, a longtime volunteer firefighter in Fallon, and battery with a deadly weapon in the shooting of Miller’s brother, Duane Miller of Spanish Fork, Utah.
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A Nevada man who was accused of a 2018 fatal shooting at a rural church incompetent to stand trial.
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A trial most recently had been scheduled to begin in March 2022, but a judge found him incompetent in July 2021 and vacated the trial date.
Chief Deputy Churchill County District Attorney Lane Mills said during a brief hearing on Tuesday that psychiatric examinations show O’Connor is still a danger to himself and others, and cannot assist in his defense, the Nevada Appeal reported.
Judge William Maddox agreed he “is not a candidate for release.”
Another competency hearing was scheduled for next August.