Meiser heads back to state hospital, murder trial delayed
There will be another delay in the Erik John Meiser murder trial.
Meiser, 39, who is accused of killing Lake Oswegos Frederick Fritz Hayes in September 2012 during a home invasion and burglary, was declared unfit for trial Monday by Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Eve Miller. Miller left the door open that Meiser might qualify to stand trial later on.
Hayes, 57, was a retired high-tech engineer and longtime Lake Oswego resident when he was killed on Sept. 17, 2012 at his home.
Meiser faces charges including six counts of aggravated murder, two counts of first-degree robbery and one count each of first- and second-degree burglary.
In April of 2013, doctors at the Oregon State Hospital said Meiser was fit to stand trial. At that time, Meiser requested a speedy trial. However, Miller told Meiser that his attorneys need time to prepare a defense.
On Monday, Miller ruled Meiser is not at this time able to assist in his own defense and was ordered to undergo treatment at the state hospital. This will be at least the third time Meiser has been returned to the the state hospital for treatment or evaluation.
If he goes to trial and is convicted, he could face the death penalty in the case.
Meisers criminal history dates back to his youth. He told a psychologist that he once regularly used drugs such as heroin but had cut back in recent years, using mostly marijuana and occasionally drinking wine or beer.
While he was once a white supremacist, Meiser has reportedly renounced any neo-Nazi beliefs and modified related tattoos. He is married and has two children, a son and a daughter, in California.
News partner KOIN News 6 contributed to this story.