BISBEE — A Cochise County Superior Court judge balked on Monday when the attorney for an accused killer whose trial has been delayed for over a year because of the defendant’s mental health issues said his client could be tried in nine months.
“If you want to schedule a trial for nine months down the road ... “ defense attorney Chris Kimminau told the judge regarding his client, Roger Delane Wilson. “I’m still waiting for a couple of things from the doctor. The doctor has already given me his opinion.”
But that suggested time frame perplexed Superior Court Judge James Conlogue, who asked Kimminau if it was necessary to wait that long.
“Even if his (the doctor’s) report has nothing to do with this?” Conlogue asked the lawyer.
When Kimminau repeated the nine months suggestion, Wilson, who has had a history of acting up in court and getting booted from hearings, began muttering and shaking his head.
That’s when Conlogue said, “It’ll be more like two months.”
The judge then set another hearing for March 23 to determine the status of the mental health evaluation. The latter was ordered by Wilson’s seventh attorney, Steven West, after West said Wilson threatened to kill him.
It’s been more than two years since Wilson was charged with fatally shooting Jose Daniel Arvizu in the chest. The incident occurred near Wilson’s mother’s house just outside Sierra Vista. Wilson has repeatedly claimed that he shot Arvizu in self-defense. He’s charged with first-degree murder with premeditation.
It’s the second time Wilson has been evaluated for mental health issues. The first time was in February 2019, when Conlogue ordered Wilson to a mental competency restoration program. When Wilson emerged from the program a few months later, it was determined that he was competent to stand trial.
But this past November, West again broached the issue that his client was perhaps not competent to stand trial. The lawyer stopped representing Wilson in late December after he said Wilson had threatened “counsel’s life and/or wellbeing on multiple occasions,” according to court records.
Wilson has gone through seven defense attorneys, many of whom he has threatened or accosted, court records show. West had ordered the mental health evaluation just before Kimminau became the eighth.
Monday was the first time that Wilson, who is being held in the Pima County Jail, had appeared at a hearing since late last year.