LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man accused in the March shooting of a Nevada Highway Patrol sergeant has been deemed competent to stand trial following roughly two months of treatment for bipolar disorder at a psychiatric facility.
White Pine County District Judge Steve Dobrescu ordered in court on Oct. 6 in Ely that John Leonard Dabritz, 66, be held at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center for “safekeeping” as he awaits trial in the murder case.
“Based on the reports that have been filed and the entire record, the testimony of the doctors and stipulations of parties, the court finds that John Leonard Dabritz has the present ability to understand the nature of the criminal charges against him,” Dobrescu said.
Dabritz faces capital punishment if convicted. His attorneys plan to use the insanity defense at trial.
Dr. Steven Zuchowski testified that Dabritz had been diagnosed with Type 1 bipolar disorder, which he said is a more serious form. Zuchowski testified while seated next to Dabritz during the virtual hearing.
Dabritz was arrested in March in connection with the killing of Sgt. Ben Jenkins.