Competency evaluation delays hearing for man accused of stabbing

PORT TOWNSEND — A hearing for a Port Angeles man accused of stabbing a Port Townsend man has been postponed for a decision about the location of a competency evaluation.

Matthew Robert Malone, 22 — a transient whose last known address was in Port Angeles, was charged with attempted first-degree murder after David Arbuckle, 57, a transient man living in Port Townsend, was stabbed July 1 near Memorial Field in Port Townsend.

Malone made a court appearance via video from the Jefferson County Jail on Friday morning, appearing before pro-tem Judge Stephen W. Gillard.

On Sunday, he remained booked on $500,000 bail.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Julie St. Marie and court-appointed defense attorney Ben Critchlow disagreed about whether it was more desirable to have a competency evaluation done at the jail or at Western State Hospital.

St. Marie said there were some parameters about a full and comprehensive exam in a hospital setting rather than having an evaluation done at the Jefferson County jail.

Gillard said he would continue entry of the competency order so that Superior Court Judge Keith Harper could make a determination about this issue.

Both St. Marie and Critchlow agreed to the postponement, and the hearing was moved to this coming Friday.

Critchlow was appointed Malone’s attorney when it was learned that Jefferson Associated Counsel had a conflict.

Arbuckle was attacked with a knife about the head, upper back and shoulders. He was initially taken to Jefferson Healthcare hospital in Port Townsend then was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for advanced trauma treatment.

He has directed the hospital not to release information about his condition.

In the Port Townsend police incident report, it noted that Malone allegedly attacked Arbuckle in an unprovoked manner, “ostensibly at the direction of demons/spirits/angels who told him what to do.”

Malone told police that “he saw Arbuckle walking around town and followed him, as directed by the spirits,” the report said, adding that “he attacked him from behind and stabbed him repeatedly with the ultimate goal of killing him.”

Malone was taken into custody at the scene and transported to Jefferson Healthcare hospital for treatment of a minor laceration on a finger before he was taken to the jail.

The maximum penalty for the offense is life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]

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