Judge: Serial burglar’s mental health prevents defense

Crime

Hector Mundt has been arrested more than 50 times

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man with a pattern of breaking into homes and more than 50 arrests on his record was civilly committed this week because his mental health issues will prevent him from assisting in his defense.

Last week a judge ruled Hector Mundt will never be able to help with his defense or be restored to competency for the forseeable future, putting a hold on his criminal cases.

Amanda Marshall, who is an attorney who does civil commitments, was not involved in Mundt’s case. But she told KOIN 6 News that when this happens, the person is in the care of the Oregon Health Authority and it’s up to a doctor to decide what level of treatment is needed — which can include an outpatient trial visit.

The six most recent booking photos of Hector Mundt clockwise: Sept. 3, 2021; June 30, 2021; Jan. 4, 2021; Nov. 30, 2020; Aug. 18, 2020; Feb. 5, 2020. (Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office/Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

“Sometimes, people get put on a trial visit pretty quickly. Sometimes civil commitments end after two weeks and sometimes you’ll get to 180 days,” Marshall said. “The hospital has the option of contacting the county and saying, ‘I don’t think this person is ready to go yet, like let’s renew the civil commitment and you can renew one more time.'”

Marshall said our system doesn’t allow people to stay longer than a year, even if continued treatment is needed. She also said the lack of mental health resources available is a huge problem in Oregon and why she sometimes sees people fall through the cracks.

There have been cases where a civil commitment is dropped after a month and people are back in court within a few weeks, she said.

Victims told KOIN 6 News they worry what could happen if Mundt is released early and doesn’t get the help he needs.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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