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FALLON: Alleged Church Shooter Still Not Competent to Stand Trial

By Don Dike Anukam
Published: Last Updated on

By Don Dike Anukam

Image: Don Dike-Anukam

Alleged Fallon church shooter John O’Connor had another court hearing yesterday. He returned to the Churchill County District Court in Fallon before District Judge Thomas Stockyard for a follow-up 6-month mental health review hearing. O’Connor was arrested in July for allegedly shooting two parishioners inside a Latter Day Saints Church.

One victim survived the shooting with a single wound, and the other victim, Fallon resident Burt Miller, died from multiple gunshots.

Yesterday’s hearing lasted about seven minutes.

O’Connor pleaded not guilty and is under mental health review until he is deemed competent enough to stand trial. Yesterday’s hearing was to determine the status of his mental capacity and progress from mental health treatment.

John O’Connor, 48, is in custody for a Fallon church shooting in which one died and another was injured.

O’Connor is represented by Reno attorney Richard Davies. At this time O’Connor is still in custody and under treatment at Lake Crossing Mental Health facility in Reno.

Davies said: “Doctors feel he (O’Connor) is making more progress in being able to aid and assist in his own defense.”

Davies indicated that he is confident that O’Connor will ultimately be found competent to stand trial.

“I expect … he will be found to be competent,” he said. “And we will proceed to the next steps of the criminal process. The District Court judge will make the determination of competency. Once John is found to be competent, they’ll send it back to Justice Court next door, and we’ll start the preliminary hearing process which is the first hearing phase of any criminal proceeding…”

The next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 20, 2019.

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