The teenager accused of firing off a gun inside a Rio Rancho high school, setting off a panic, is not competent to stand trial for now.
A new court order shows Joshua Owen will go to a treatment center until he’s deemed competent.
“At this point, I think that’s in his best interest and the public’s best interest because he needs to get treatment,” Owen’s defense attorney, Steven Archibeque, said. “He has severe mental health issues.”
Police said the 16-year-old pointed a gun at three people in a hallway at the school before firing a shot in the air and taking off.
Officers later tracked him down in an arroyo south of campus and placed him in cuffs.
The competency order filed Wednesday states Owen is not competent for trial on his attempted murder charge based on the results of his forensic evaluation, which his attorney said will stay sealed.
Owen will be transported to a secure facility for inpatient psychiatric treatment and learn about court proceedings and the juvenile justice system.
The hope is this will enable him to eventually attain competency to stand trial.
“It will be at least a year for us to come back and find out what we’re going to do with that child based on the results of this treatment,” 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said.
The search warrant said Owen claims he heard voices that told him to carry out a shooting spree.
Owen will have status updates every 90 days to check his competency once he finally moves from juvenile detention to a treatment center.
The DA said if Owen is not found competent after a year, there’s a possibility he could be held at the treatment facility until he is 21, then they’d have to figure where he’d go next.
“If we’re able to treat this child to competency, then we will move forward with grand jury indictment or preliminary hearing and seek adult sanctions,” Martinez added.