LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) — An eastern Oregon man who was facing trial over the death of his wife has been sent to the state psychiatric hospital.
Ronald Lee of La Grande was set to face a Union County jury in November on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Loretta Williams. Court records show Circuit Judge Thomas Powers on Tuesday signed a order finding Lee unfit to proceed, The Observer reported. The state accused Lee of killing Williams in November 2018 at her home in Cove. At the time the two were divorcing.
Lee was hospitalized after having a stroke in January while in custody at the Union County Correctional Facility in La Grande. He then underwent a mental health evaluation.
The court canceled the murder trial after Dr. Michael Saul Farris, a Portland-based psychiatrist, determined Lee was danger to himself or others because of a mental disorder and requires hospital care due to the dangerousness and the acuity of symptoms of the disorder, according to the judge’s order. The court received Farris’ report Oct. 1.
According to the court order, after a 60-day evaluation, the state will determine if Lee can stand trial in the future.