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Murder suspect OK to stand trial, psychiatrist testifies

A psychiatrist testified Monday that Stranger Davis, who is accused of murdering Michael MacDonald near Cave Junction last August, is mentally capable of aiding in his own defense.

Dr. S. Michael Sasser evaluated Davis in May at the request of the prosecution.

The 28-year-old defendant's 'entire presentation did not show any disability to participate in his own defense,' Sasser testified at a morning hearing in the jail courtroom before Josephine County Circuit Court Judge Lindi Baker.

Sasser's findings are contradictory to the findings of another psychiatrist who was hired by the defense. That doctor's findings will be presented at another hearing next month.

Police said Davis shot 61-year-old MacDonald, known as 'Dirty Mike,' on a property in the 6000 block of Rockydale Road. Davis told investigators he killed MacDonald because MacDonald was involved in criminal activities in the Illinois Valley and he wanted the crimes to stop.

Sasser testified that he believes Davis is delusional, and that his delusions were likely brought on by his longtime use of methamphetamine and marijuana. However, he said Davis still understands the crime he is accused of committing and the potential punishment he faces, and is mentally fit to assist his attorney in the case against him. Davis has been charged with murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

After District Attorney Ryan Mulkins and defense attorney Pete Smith finished questioning Sasser, Davis was allowed to address Judge Baker. He stood and announced that he would be reading a statement and a poem he wrote. He began with, 'My father is Jesus Christ.'

'The only crime that could possibly have been committed in this case is if I were to have chosen to do nothing at all,' Davis said.

His poem included mentions of 'private subcontractors' working underground, scientists secretly processing the bodies of murder victims, the conversion of 'human mass' into water and the underground trafficking of human organs.

Baker listened quietly to Davis for several minutes. She cut him off after he told her he was going to read notes from his own 'molecular and forensic' research.

'How long are those notes?' she asked. 'That may be a little more technical than what we can address today.'

Davis replied, 'K,' and the hearing wrapped up.

The fatal shooting occurred the afternoon of Aug. 2, 2014. Oregon State Police responded to the Rockydale Road address and found MacDonald's body on the ground. He appeared to have been shot several times, investigators noted in an arrest warrant affidavit.

Baker will hear from the other psychiatrist at a July hearing that has yet to be scheduled. If Davis is found to be unfit, he would be placed in a state hospital and the criminal case against him would be suspended.

Reach reporter Melissa McRobbie at 541-474-3806 or mmcrobbie@thedailycourier.com