Man who allegedly threatened Frisco police deemed incompetent to stand trial, second opinion pending |

Man who allegedly threatened Frisco police deemed incompetent to stand trial, second opinion pending

Jack Queen
Nathaniel Leisz is accused of charging at officers with a knife after being pulled over on suspicion that he had stolen an idling car in Breckenridge.
Courtesy of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office |

A medical evaluation has deemed 33-year-old Nathaniel Leisz to be incompetent to stand trial. However, District Court Judge Mark Thompson granted the prosecutors’ request for a second opinion during a hearing on Monday, June 19.

That leaves unresolved the question of whether Leisz, who is accused of threatening police with a knife after stealing a car last Christmas, will stand trial for charges including first-degree assault.

During the hearing, public defender Reed Owens said that the initial evaluation found that the “motivations for (Leisz’s) behavior were direct results of delusional beliefs,” and that “the delusions were related to psychotic symptoms, not substances.”

Judge Thompson limited the second evaluation to the question of whether or not Leisz is competent to stand trial. The issue of sanity, or whether or not Leisz can be held criminally liable for the alleged incident, hasn’t been addressed yet.

Another hearing has been scheduled for Monday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. in the district court chamber of the Summit County Justice Center.

According to an arrest affidavit, Leisz was pulled over at 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 25, 2016, while driving a stolen car. Police say he then threatened them with a knife and couldn’t be subdued by non-lethal means, so an officer shot him in the hand.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation conducted a review of the incident at the request of local law enforcement and handed over the results to the District Attorney’s Office in late April, a CBI spokeswoman said.

District Attorney Bruce Brown said the inquiry found the use of deadly force to be justified, although he said he couldn’t release any further details because of the ongoing criminal case against Leisz.

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