VALE

A Colorado man accused of a racially-motivated stabbing that took place in Ontario will need to get mental treatment before his case moves any further. 

Nolan Strauss, 26, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was announced as unable to aid and assist in his case in front of Malheur Circuit Court Judge Lung Hung on Wednesday afternoon. Strauss is facing four felonies of attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first degree, bias crime in the first degree and unlawful use of a weapon.

According to Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe, the next step for Strauss’ case is to check with Lifeways (the county’s mental health provider) and see if it offers the appropriate service for someone in Strauss’ situation in the community. 

If Lifeways does not offer that, then the judge will be able to sign the order to have Strauss transferred to the Oregon State Hospital for “restoration of his ability to aid and assist,” Goldthorpe said.  

The status hearing for Strauss is currently scheduled for Feb. 26. 

Strauss was arraigned on his charges on Dec. 27. A mental health evaluation was ordered for him on Jan. 15 after he wasn’t present for his scheduled plea hearing for the second time as the jail was unable to bring Strauss to the hearing due to his behavior. 

Strauss, a long-haul semi driver, had been in Ontario for a few days before he allegedly stabbed a man at a local fast-food restaurant on Dec. 21.

Police say Strauss was restrained by several employees inside the Pilot truck stop on East Idaho Avenue when officers arrived on scene.

The victim, Ronnell Hughes, 48, who was at Arby’s on a job-seeking visit, was found nearby with “multiple stab wounds to his neck area.”

Police say Strauss approached Hughes, who was seated at the time, “without provocation or communication” then began attacking him with a knife.

Hughes attempted to fend off the attack, but suffered “at least two” slash and stab wounds to his neck area before employees came to his aid, according to police records.

None of the employees who intervened were injured.

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