Competency contested

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Foster

By KEITH KINNAIRD

News editor

SANDPOINT — A contested competency hearing is pending in the case of Blanchard man who shot and wounded two Bonner County sheriff’s deputies who tried to arrest him earlier this year.

Counsel for Adam Deacon Foster obtained an order requiring him to undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he has the capacity to understand the criminal proceedings and assist in his own defense. Foster’s fitness to proceed was drawn into question because his attorneys believed he was having trouble differentiating reality from fantasy, according to court documents.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall filed papers which will contest the defense’s position.

A contested competency hearing is scheduled for March 8 in 1st District Court.

Foster, 31, is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the wounding of deputies Michael Gagnon and Justin Penn during a shootout outside Foster’s home on Mountain View Road on Jan. 16. The deputies were attempting to apprehend Foster on year-old misdemeanor battery charges.

Authorities decided to execute the arrest warrant after Foster allegedly made statements that he intended to kill a neighbor and would kill anyone — including law enforcement and family members — who tried to thwart his plans, court records indicate.

Family members told deputies that Foster’s mental health appeared to nosedive after he began using methamphetamine while living in Washington state.

Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Katie Murdock contends that Foster was aware there was an active warrant for his arrest because he had unsuccessfully attempted to get it quashed, court documents said. Foster disputes that it was Gagnon and Penn who came to his property on the day in question and claimed unidentified agents in plainclothes intended to kidnap and murder him.

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