Seattle’s #ManInTree will remain at Western State Hospital to undergo a 45-day competency-restoration period after a judge found him not competent to stand trial on Tuesday.
Cody Lee Miller, who spent 25 hours atop an 80-foot-tall sequoia tree outside the downtown Macy’s, was found not competent to stand trial on Tuesday and ordered to spend an additional 45 days at Western State Hospital, court records show.
Charged with first-degree malicious mischief and third-degree assault, Miller, now 29, is accused of pelting police and firefighters with green seed cones, branches he had ripped from the tree and pieces of metal during the March standoff.
He caused an estimated $7,000 in damage to the tree, argued with police negotiators, drew a large crowd of onlookers and earned a sizable internet following as #ManInTree before climbing down on March 23.
In April, jail staff determined he wasn’t mentally ill but instead lived a “free-spirited life-style,” despite displaying unusual behavior, says a forensic psychological evaluation filed in court Tuesday by Western State Hospital psychologist David Olegar.
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Miller was sent earlier in May to Western State, where Olegar diagnosed him with chronic paranoid schizophrenia, even though Miller refused to meet with him, the report says.
Olegar based his diagnosis on a variety of records, including Miller’s available medical records, 24-hour behavioral observations, and clinical interviews, including one with Miller’s mother, according to the report.
Miller has erratic mood swings, going from calm and lucid to frustrated and angry, the report says. He has threatened to kill his attorney and others involved in his case.
In order to be competent to stand trial, criminal defendants must be able to understand the charges against them and aid their attorneys in defending themselves.
During a court hearing on the competency issue in Seattle on Tuesday, Miller was on the phone from the state psychiatric hospital but hung up, prompting the judge to waive Miller’s presence, court records say.
He will undergo a 45-day competency-restoration period to see if he responds to psychotropic medication, with his next court hearing set for July 11, according to court records.