Mental evaluation ordered for murder suspect

YERINGTON - A 20-year-old man charged with murder in a botched Silver Springs burglary was once diagnosed with split personality disorder, his attorney said in court on Thursday.

Alexander King's attorney asked for and received an order from Walker River Justice Court Judge Michael S. Fletcher to have King evaluated at Lakes Crossing, a center for mentally disordered offenders in Reno.

Attorney Jesse Kalter filed a motion Monday asking for King to be committed, noting that the three-time felon who just turned 20 has a "lengthy history with his mental health and stability dating back to childhood."

The motion states: "He has been prescribed several different psychotropic medications to alter his behavior throughout the years and has undergone treatment at several mental health institutes."

Kalter said King has previously been diagnosed as bipolar and

having split personality disorder,

also known as dissociative identity disorder.

King, shackled at the wrists and feet and dressed in a black-and-white striped jail uniform with his hair slicked down, was quiet throughout the proceeding Thursday. He seemed to listen intently to the attorneys and judge, but sometimes hung his head or got lost in a stare.

King stands accused of shooting to death Stuart Gardner, 18, on Jan. 3 after Gardner and his girlfriend interrupted King allegedly burglarizing the Silver Springs home they shared with Gardner's grandfather.

After the girlfriend allegedly happened upon King inside the home, he ran outside and came upon Gardner walking toward the house, said Lyon County Sheriff's Lt. Bryan Veil. Investigators are uncertain if an altercation broke out between the two young men, but by the time King fled, Gardner had been shot in the chest.

The 2010 Silver Stage High graduate died from his injuries at a Reno trauma center.

King was captured a short time later hiding in the desert nearby.

The Lyon County criminal complaint charging him with first-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon, an alternative charge of felony murder with the use of a deadly weapon, burglary with the use of a deadly weapon, home invasion and being a felon in possession of a firearm indicates he had some items stolen from Gardner's house in his backpack.

A judgment of conviction dated June 28, 2010, indicates when the killing happened King was serving 60 months probation for two counts of burglary in Lander County. He was also convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on July 2, 2010. A criminal complaint filed in Humboldt County states King tried to run someone over with his car, according to a court clerk there.

Also on Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger said his office had not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Judge Fletcher told Kalter to look over the list of death penalty certified attorneys and come back to court with a suggestion on who he'd want to work with on the case.

A status check to find out the results of the psychiatric evaluation and appoint a death penalty certified attorney is set for Feb. 24.

In the meantime, King remains in custody without bail.


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