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Judge: Mental health issues must be addressed by Sept. 28 in cop case

Posted: August 24, 2012 - 12:04am
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Former Juneau police lieutenant Troy A. Wilson, 45, appears in Juneau Superior Court before Judge Philip Pallenberg on Thursday for an omnibus hearing.  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Former Juneau police lieutenant Troy A. Wilson, 45, appears in Juneau Superior Court before Judge Philip Pallenberg on Thursday for an omnibus hearing.

An ex-Juneau Police Department lieutenant facing attempted murder charges after allegedly opening fire on police officers in April will have another month to notify the court of any mental health or competency issues.

Alaska statutes require defendants to notify the court if they are planning on raising insanity as a defense at trial.

The defense has remained mum on the issue in the case against Troy A. Wilson, 45, since his attorney, Julie Willoughby, filed an unopposed motion to relax the timely notification requirements.

On Thursday, during an omnibus hearing in Juneau Superior Court, Willoughby asked that she have until Nov. 15 to file such a notice, which District Attorney David Brower said was too long. Willoughby and Brower discussed the matter privately during a two-minute bench conference with Judge Philip Pallenberg.

Pallenberg ultimately ruled that all notices relating to competency, sanity or diminished capacity must be filed by Sept. 28, unless ordered otherwise.

The judge also scheduled a status hearing a day before that deadline, Sept. 27, to allow the defense the opportunity to ask for more time if needed. Additionally, a filing deadline for all motions in the case was set for mid-October.

Wilson, a 17-year JPD veteran and former SWAT instructor, is facing multiple felony attempted murder, assault and weapons misconduct charges. He was arrested after a five-hour stand-off over the Easter weekend for allegedly firing 75 to 100 shots at police officers and their vehicles with high-powered rifles and handguns. JPD originally responded to his house on Black Wolf Way after receiving a frantic 911 call from Wilson’s wife.

Prosecutors say that night, Wilson vowed to “kill the world” or anyone who came near his house. He also threatened “to hunt down and kill” the police chief and assistant chief, a police captain and an investigator who tied to negotiate with him by phone throughout the standoff, according to an affidavit.

Two of the police officers Wilson is accused of taking aim of that night, Officers Lee Phelps and Brandon Lawrenson, appeared in court in plainclothes. The two watched as Wilson walked into the courtroom in orange prison garb, sat at the defendant’s table for the 11-minute hearing next to Willoughby, and then left escorted by the court security officer.

Wilson only said two words during the hearing — “No, sir” — when the judge asked if he had any questions.

Phelps declined to give an interview after the hearing, but did say he had mixed feelings about seeing his former colleague.

“I think anyone would,” Phelps said.

Wilson resigned from JPD on Dec. 31, when he was under investigation for off-duty behavior that allegedly violated JPD policy and procedure.

JPD spokespeople have not disclosed what the behavior was, but did say it was associated with a psychological condition for which he was receiving treatment. The result of the JPD investigation was also never disclosed.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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