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Attempted bank robber may be unfit to enter plea

Posted: June 8, 2011 - 8:42pm

The 65-year-old Juneau man who attempted to rob a branch of First National Bank at 238 Front Street with a plastic toy gun and then asked the bank teller to call police may not be fit to enter a plea, according to results from a hearing Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court.

Kenneth Montoya is charged with first-degree burglary on the heels of that bizarre May 31 incident. David Seid, Montoya’s attorney, told Judge Phillip Pallenberg his client was not in a place to enter a knowingly intelligent and voluntary plea.

Seid said he could file something in court “but I really don’t want to give an explanation in open court right now.”

Seid said there were issues to be resolved that “could not be resolved in this court room right now.”

“Are you asking me to enter any orders today?” Pallenberg asked.

“If there needs to be one under 12.47,” Seid answered.

Section 12.47 of Alaska’s Code of Criminal Procedure covers issues relating to insanity and competency to stand trial.

State Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp agreed there were issues involving the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc. (JAMHI).

“I don’t know Mr. Montoya,” Pallenberg said. “I don’t know anything about him.”

Pallenberg stated generally, and not specific to Montoya, if defense counsel indicated a sincere belief the defendant’s competency might be an issue, and the state did not give a reason to disagree with that, then the court could enter a motion.

Pallenberg said the statute referenced was broad in terms of basis for the court to determine an order. If there are reasons to doubt the fitness of a defendant to proceed in a case, a request can be made by the defense or the state or an order can be entered on the court’s own motion.

“If that is where we are,” Pallenberg said. “If that is what you are telling me I will enter the motion now.”

Seid stated he would file something by the end of Wednesday and believed the state would not oppose the filing.

Pallenberg scheduled Montoya’s next court appearance for June 16.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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