Tucumcari man found unfit for trial

Thomas Garcia

A Tucumcari man was found incompetent to stand trial Tuesday by the 10th Judi-cial District Court in connection with a 2009 homicide.

District Judge Albert J. Mitchell ruled that Robert W. “Chief” Wynashe, was incompetent to stand trial for the shooting death of Howard Russell King.

King was shot June 1, 2009, while moving out of the Red Wood Lodge, which was being managed by Wynashe.

The shooting left King paralyzed. He was treated in Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. Police said witnesses identified Wynashe as the shooter, he was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Wynashe was being held at the Quay County Detention Center on $1 million bond. When King died in August 2009, charges against Wynashe were amended to murder in February 2010.

“Wynashe will be transported to the Mental Health Facility in Las Vegas, N.M., where he will be treated until competent to stand trial,” Mitchell said.

Wynashe’s defense attorney Anna Aragon of Las Vegas and state’s senior trial Attorney Tim Rose agreed to the decision to send him to Las Vegas for treatment.

“Wynashe was examined by physiologist and was found to be incompetent,” Rose said.

Rose said Wynashe will be treated until he is competent to stand trial, at which time the case will be placed back on the court’s docket.

Rose said if Wynashe can’t be treated, a hearing will be held where the judge will determine if their is sufficient evidence to convict him of the murder charge.

“If he is convicted, Wynashe could serve a life sentence in the mental facility,” Rose said.

Aragon said Wynashe was diagnosed with a form of dementia.