Lake Oswego murder suspect Erik Meiser deemed fit to stand trial - KPTV - FOX 12

Lake Oswego murder suspect Erik Meiser deemed fit to stand trial

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Erik Meiser during 2012 court appearance. (KPTV file image) Erik Meiser during 2012 court appearance. (KPTV file image)
Erik Meiser during 2013 court appearance. (KPTV file image) Erik Meiser during 2013 court appearance. (KPTV file image)
Erik Meiser during 2013 court appearance. (KPTV file image) Erik Meiser during 2013 court appearance. (KPTV file image)
Fritz Hayes Jr. (KPTV file image) Fritz Hayes Jr. (KPTV file image)
LAKE OSWEGO, OR (KPTV) -

Erik Meiser, the accused killer of a 57-year-old Lake Oswego man, has been deemed fit to stand trial for murder.  

A judge made that ruling Monday following Meiser's lengthy stay at the Oregon State Hospital.

Meiser is accused of killing Frederick "Fritz" Hayes Jr. in September 2012.

Investigators said Hayes and his wife returned home from their morning walk Sept. 17, 2012 and found Meiser armed with a machete and a knife standing inside their house.

Court documents state Hayes' wife ran out of the home screaming, and by the time she looped back around, she found her husband bleeding. Hayes died in his wife's arms while she was on the phone with 911, according to court documents.

Court documents state Meiser broke into two Lake Oswego homes on the day Hayes was killed. Meiser, who has a long criminal history in multiple states, was considered the sole suspect in the murder investigation and a nationwide manhunt was launched to find him.

He was caught and arrested five days later outside a Corvallis motel.

Hayes worked as an engineer and had recently retired from computer solutions company All Tech 1.

Prior to Monday's ruling, there had been back-and-forth decisions on Meiser's competency for trial. 

Meiser was found competent to stand trial in June 2013. In December 2013, a judge ruled he would continue to be held without bail.

Meiser's competency was again brought into question in February 2013. A new psychological evaluation was ordered and, subsequently, in March 2013, a judge ruled that Meiser was unfit to proceed.

In March 2015, a judge again found Meiser unfit to aid and assist in his own defense. He was ordered to go back to the Oregon State Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Now that Meiser has again been ruled fit to stand trial, new court dates are set to be scheduled on May 2.

Meiser sent a letter from jail to FOX 12 in October 2012 saying, "There's another murder victim." Meiser agreed to an interview with FOX 12 at that time, but changed his mind after talking to a lawyer.

Meiser has long been considered a person of interest in the stabbing death of Nick Fickett, 28, of Kelso, whose body was found near a homeless camp along the banks of the Cowlitz River in July 2012.

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