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Daniel Butts returns from state hospital

Daniel Butts returns from state hospital

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Daniel Armaugh Butts is back in the Columbia County Jail after a second visit to the state mental hospital.

Butts, who is accused of murdering Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter, was sent to the hospital after a judge ruled in April that he needed a new mental evaluation. Butts also was evaluated in 2011, when doctors at the Oregon State Hospital said he was faking mental problems to avoid his murder trial. A defense expert contends Butts is psychotic.

The latest evaluation came after his lawyers claimed Butts wasn’t getting proper medical attention in the jail. His lawyers said he’s not taking the anti-psychotic medication prescribed for him and that a self-inflicted stab wound has remained unhealed and infected.

Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said Butts refuses medication and bangs his head against a wall to worsen the stab wound. He said he won’t forcibly medicate Butts without a court order.

The hospital’s report on Butts will go to Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove and then be sent to lawyers. Columbia County District Attorney Steve Atchison said Friday he hasn’t seen the report and that it may not yet be completed.

Butts was transferred to the state hospital April 17 and returned to the jail May 10.

Pre-trial motions in the criminal case are scheduled for July. A trial date has not been set.

Butts, 22, of Kalama is charged with shooting Painter on Jan. 5, 2011, after Painter responded to a report of a suspicious person at a west Rainier car stereo shop. He faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

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