By 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
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.
Don Dike-Anukam is a Reno native attending college in northern Nevada. He has been involved in activist politics for 15 years on and off, and has been involved in multiple campaigns in multiple positions in that time. He also was a college radio political, news, and talk-show host covering a range of stories from hostage standoffs, fires, interviews, and public speeches.