Report: Alleged murderer competent to stand trial

Shay Clinton Darrow

Shay Clinton Darrow

PORT ANGELES — A state psychologist has determined that Shay Clinton Darrow is competent to stand trial for the shooting death of his father, a preliminary reports says.

Darrow, 28, is charged with first-degree murder with domestic violence and a firearm enhancement for allegedly shooting Clint Leroy Darrow to death at a Port Angeles residence on Jan. 12.

Shay Darrow is described in court papers as a schizophrenic who had stopped taking his medication before the shooting at 201 W. Ninth St.

Clint Darrow owned Van Goes Take & Bake Pizza in Port Angeles. He was 53.

Forensic mental health reports dated March 1 and June 2 found that Shay Darrow lacked the capacity to understand the nature of the charge against him and the capacity to assist Clallam Public Defender in his own defense.

After Shay Darrow completed a second round of competency restoration at Western State Hospital in Lakewood, staff psychologist Eden Beesley determined in a Dec. 12 report that Darrow’s schizoaffective disorder was in partial remission.

“Mr. Darrow currently has the capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings against him and the capacity to assist in his own defense,” Beesley wrote.

A Friday court hearing to enter a competency order was continued to Jan. 12 at the request of defense attorney Loren Oakley, who was filling in for the absent John Hayden of Clallam Public Defender.

Oakley told Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer that the defense had retained its own psychologist to interview Darrow in the Clallam County jail.

That interview had not yet occurred, Oakley said.

“Mr Hayden is counsel on this case, and I don’t know the merits of entering the competency order,” Oakley said.

Clallam Public Defender Director Harry Gasnick said he had received an email from Beesley on Dec. 22 that indicated the Dec. 12 report on Darrow’s competency was preliminary.

“It looked like a final report, but it was specifically noted as being a preliminary report,” Gasnick said of the email.

Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Michele Devlin suggested that court seek clarification from Western State on the status of the report.

“The state’s biggest concern is competency is fluid, and we want to get going,” Devlin said.

Rohrer said it was “disturbing” that the report was said to be preliminary because previous reports were not marked as official or unofficial.

“I just assume that they’re all the real thing,” Rohrer said before granting the two-week continuance.

Gasnick offered to seek clarification from Western State Hospital staff.

“I’m going to ask very specifically: ‘So, is this thing official yet?’” Gasnick said.

“I will refrain from using profanity in my email.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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