ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico man accused of killing two police officers and three others during a 2005 shooting rampage remains incompetent to stand trial.
State District Judge Benjamin Chavez in an order filed Wednesday said he and attorneys reviewed John Hyde’s mental health evaluations and determined he’s still incompetent and poses a danger to the community.
A diagnosed schizophrenic, Hyde will be evaluated again in 2020. Until then, he will continue serving a 179-year commitment in a secure facility.
That commitment was ordered in 2007 following court proceedings that centered on whether Hyde remained a danger and whether there was enough evidence to convict him of the August 2005 crimes.
Hyde could be brought to trial if he’s ever found to be competent.
Defense attorney Stephen Taylor told the Albuquerque Journal that he welcomed this week’s court decision.
“It’s a relief that John will remain at the hospital, where he is safe,” Taylor said.
Hyde is accused of killing transportation worker Ben Lopez, motorcycle shop employees Garret Iverson and David Fisher and Albuquerque police officers Michael King, 50, and Richard Smith, 46.
In addition to five first-degree murder counts, Hyde was charged with armed robbery, tampering with evidence and child abuse — the latter because one of the victims, Fisher, was 17.
Fisher was shot to death along with Iversen, 22, on Aug. 18, 2005, inside an Albuquerque motorcycle shop where the two worked.
Hours before, the 54-year-old Lopez was found shot to death outside his office.
Late that night, the two officers were shot and killed as they arrived at Hyde’s apartment in southeast Albuquerque on a mental health pickup.
Hyde had been successfully treated for years before the shooting until a change in his medication prompted him to spiral deeper into mental illness, according to court documents.
He and his family were unable to find solutions for his escalating behavior. The day before the shootings, he was unsuccessful in getting medical help for his schizophrenia.