A judge on Monday ordered an accused killer into a restoration program in the hopes he will become competent to stand trial.
Cochise County Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson’s decision comes after three doctors evaluated murder suspect Jon Bentley.
The latter is charged with fatally shooting his Mescal neighbor, Otmar Schwestak, on Aug. 21, 2020. Dickerson ordered Bentley into a restoration program within the Cochise County Jail.
A third doctor recently evaluated the 57-year-old Bentley and opined that the murder suspect is “incompetent but restorable.” The second psychiatrist who tested Bentley came away with the same diagnosis. The first doctor said Bentley was “probably competent.”
A Cochise County Sheriff’s report shows that Bentley and Schwestak were paranoid about each other.
Otmar Schwestak told his son, Michael Schwestak, that he feared Bentley because of Bentley’s “unstable mental status,” the report shows.
The younger Schwestak found his father slumped over in a chair on Aug. 21 inside the residence the two shared on North Mescal Road. Schwestak had a newspaper tucked under one arm and investigators said there were no signs of struggle in the house.
When he was interviewed by Sheriff’s detectives, Michael Schwestak told them his father had no enemies. However, he suddenly paused and then told them about their neighbor Bentley, who Michael Schwestak described as “(expletive) nuts,” the report says.
Two days after the homicide, Bentley’s son, Jon Michael Bentley, told Sheriff’s detectives his father was “extremely paranoid” about the Schwestaks and the elder Bentley had taken his .40 caliber Glock pistol, the report shows. The bullet casing found near Schwestak was a Winchester .40 caliber, the report says.
Jon Michael Bentley also said he had moved his father into a recreational vehicle on his property on North Mescal Road because his father had threatened another neighbor.
The younger Bentley told investigators he suspected his father had shot Schwestak, the report shows.
Bentley’s former attorney, Christopher Cazares, said he made a motion to have Bentley evaluated after observing Bentley. In the motion, Cazares said his client “has made statements of intense, fearful feelings of people who are not there and they are conspiring against him. Also, he doesn’t appropriately respond to questions and fails to recall prior conversations.”
A hearing has been set for May 24 to determine Bentley’s status.