Doctors who examined Lenny Kizzar -- the suspect in the shooting of Payson Police Officer Allen Dyer Oct. 30 --have determined that he is mentally competent to stand trial.
"We're not surprised by that," Kizzar's attorney James Hazel said. "We expected that he'd be found competent now that he's been put back on his medication in jail. He's really stabilized."
According to police reports, Kizzar told police that he'd been wandering around town for days prior to the shooting, carrying a .44-Magnum handgun. Kizzar said he feared for his life because he was considered a witness in the May 1999 bombing of a Mormon church in Heber, and he was hoping to coax someone into shooting him.
The afternoon of Oct. 30, Kizzar accidentally came face to face with officer Dyer in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Dyer was shot and Kizzar fled. He was captured a block away in the backyard of a nearby house.
A trial date has not yet been set for Kizzar, who has been charged with attempted first-degree murder. And, Hazel said, it could still be several weeks before the defense is ready for court.
"I told the court that I was against setting a trial date until everyone was interviewed," he said.
The prosecution has rounded up a list of 84 witnesses for the shooting, which took place in the middle of the afternoon in a crowded parking lot.
"The judge directed them to shorten their witness list," Hazel said, "and they said they would try to do that."
Hazel said he's also awaiting a ruling on a motion that he filed to remand the case back to the grand jury based on what he thinks were mistakes during the first grand jury hearing.
"One of the things the officer mentioned in the testimony before the grand jury was that Mr. Kizzar had been in prison before," he said. "Generally, that's not permissible, or it would be my view that that's not permissible, but I guess the judge will decide."
Hazel said he also will argue that the grand jury should have been instructed to consider other charges than first-degree murder, which was the only option the grand jury had.