Competency review ordered for convicted man

The Colorado Court of Appeals has ordered a Mesa County judge to take another look at a man’s 2006 attempted-murder conviction.

In a 23-page ruling handed down Thursday, the court said Chief District Judge David Bottger applied an incorrect legal standard in determining whether Troy Mondragon, now 44, was mentally competent to stand trial.

Mondragon was convicted by a jury of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault, among a host of other charges. He is serving a 64-year prison sentence for breaking into a Grand Junction home in March 2003 and stabbing another man 27 times with a kitchen knife.

The Appeals Court decision means Mondragon will be returned to Mesa County for another competency hearing. District Attorney Pete Hautzinger on Friday was doubtful it will lead to a new trial.

“We’ve done a lot of work on this issue over the years with Mr. Mondragon, and we’re confident we’ll be able to prove he is competent under the new standard,” Hautzinger said.

The Appeals Court opinion said:

“Among other things, defendant thought that he worked for the FBI, the CIA, and other agencies that infiltrated Satanist cults, and that he was involved in special operations as an archangel.”

While ruling Mondragon was fit to stand trial, Bottger seemingly contradicted himself in deciding Mondragon was incapable of deciding if he should testify in his own defense, according to the opinion.

The Appeals Court ruled Bottger failed to properly consider whether Mondragon’s perceptions were “grounded in reality.”


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