BOISE — An Ada County judge on March 19 found a Boise man accused of torturing and killing his ex-girlfriend in December was mentally unfit to stand trial.
David Randall, 56, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 56-year-old Darla Fletcher of Meridian, formerly of Pocatello. Fletcher and Randall dated in the past and broke up about a month prior to her death in December, according to prosecutors. She went to Randall’s Northwest Boise home on Dec. 15 to pick up some of her belongings. After she failed to show up for work the next day, her son went looking for her and found her body at the home, prosecutors say. Randall was there as well. Police arrested him the next day and a judge declined to issue bond in his case.
In December, Ada County Magistrate Judge Michael Oths ordered Randall to undergo a mental health evaluation. According to online court records, Randall’s sealed mental health competency hearing took place March 26. That same day, Ada County Magistrate Judge David Manwieler ordered Randall committed to the medical ward at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.
In Idaho, judges decide if a person is mentally competent to stand trial. If a person is deemed mentally incompetent to proceed — meaning they cannot assist in their own defense or understand the proceedings against them — a judge normally commits them to the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Doctors then treat the person until they are confident the person is competent to return to court.
If a judge determines a person is “dangerously mentally ill,” they are committed to the prison’s medical ward. The ward, however, only has nine beds, and defendants have had to wait for admission in recent months.