A man accused of killing his neighbor will be evaluated a third time to determine if he’s competent to stand trial, a judge ordered Monday.
Two doctors have examined Jon Bentley since he was charged with the murder of his Mescal neighbor Otmar Schwestak on Aug. 21, 2020.
At a hearing Monday, Cochise County Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson ordered a third evaluation of Bentley’s mental status after one doctor opined that Bentley was “probably competent” and another said he was not competent, but is “restorable.”
A Cochise County Sheriff’s report shows that both 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 own son Jon Michael Bentley told Sheriff’s detectives that his father was “extremely paranoid” about the Schwestaks and that 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 also had threatened another neighbor in the Tucson area.
The younger Bentley told investigators that 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 himself. 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 to determine whether Bentley is competent to stand trial has been scheduled for March 8.