PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Former Portland freelance journalist Michael Bivins was found unfit to stand trial on charges he targeted religious institutions in the Portland metro area in 2022.
Bivins faced charges for the vandalism at Congregation Shir Tikvah and Congregration Beth Israel along with an arson at the Muslim Community Center about a year ago. Along with the arson and criminal mischief charges, he was also charged with 5 bias crimes.
A court document obtained by KOIN 6 News revealed he’s been undergoing mental evaluations since June. On May 3, an order found him “unfit to proceed,” and on May 11, he was ordered to the Oregon State Hospital.
In recent years prior to his arrest, he was a freelance journalist for a number of news organizations, often covering political extremism.
Court documents obtained shortly after his arrest showed Bivins had recently become homeless and told police he had been sleeping on the streets most nights when he wasn’t staying at his mother’s house in Tenino.