Walla Walla man in confrontation ruled competent for trial

Steven R. Hall is charged with assault in connection with a threat made outside a Safeway store.

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WALLA WALLA -- A judge has determined that a man arrested in April after an alleged confrontation outside a local Safeway store is mentally competent to stand trial.

Steven R. Hall, 46, of 534 S. Third Ave., No. 6, was evaluated by personnel from Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake at the request of his attorney, Gail Siemers. When Siemers asked in June for Hall to be evaluated, she wrote in a declaration that his behavior showed signs of untreated paranoid schizophrenia.

But based on results of a recent evaluation report, Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann ordered last week that Hall is competent to stand trial, which is set for Dec. 15.

Hall is charged with second-degree assault. Police say he went to a pay phone outside the Safeway store at 215 W. Rose St. about 6:20 p.m. April 18 and pulled out a folding knife. When a man approached to use the phone, Hall allegedly told him he had a knife and to get away.

An officer arrived and had to forcibly arrest Hall, who received a cut above his left eye, officials said.

He was treated at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, then was booked into the County Jail.

A police report filed in court says Hall has had previous contacts with police when he was having violent outbursts.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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