WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 cases dismissed for defendants’ incompetency

In our continuing checks of court cases to see what happens post-arrest, we have two cases to update in which charges were dismissed because the defendants were incompetent to stand trial:

JUNEAU MARKET ATTACK: Last December, 51-year-old Farrell M. Ditschinger was charged with assault and attempted robbery after an attack on a 71-year-old woman working at Juneau Street Market. In the months since, King County Superior Court records show, he has twice been found incompetent to stand trial and both times sent to Western State Hospital for competency-restoration attempts. Last month, a report indicated that a third try at restoring competency was not likely to render him able to participate in his defense, and a judge dismissed the charges. However, the same report recommended reviewing him for civil commitment, suggesting he otherwise was at risk of endangering himself and others. What happened from there, public records don’t show; the King County Jail Register shows him released from KCJ custody on September 10th, the date of the hearing.

ALKI TRESPASSING: Last week we reported on the arrest of 25-year-old Nickolas Osborne, charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing for insisting he had to get inside an Alki residence to retrieve belongings that weren’t actually there. Osborne, as we noted then, has two high-profile West Seattle arrests in his past. Municipal Court records show that the trespass case was dismissed last week as he was found incompetent to stand trial and not eligible for a restoration hospitalization due to the low level of the crime. But he was to be evaluated for possible commitment, and that decision is due tomorrow; he remains in jail in the meantime.

25 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 cases dismissed for defendants' incompetency"

  • Patrick October 7, 2019 (4:36 pm)

    After reading paragraph one about the individual who was recommend for civil commitment, only to be released with no known current whereabouts, I do not have any faith that Mr. Osborne will be held for further even if he needs help based upon said evaluation.Our criminal/court system do not help those in need, and certainly are not concerned with the safety of the community as a whole.

  • Mj October 7, 2019 (5:09 pm)

    Really a person assaulting an elderly lady belongs behind bars.  The prosecutor and judge are the ones incompetent.

  • Eric1 October 7, 2019 (5:11 pm)

    Darn.  I thought this article was regarding the People VS.  SDOT leadership and the City Clowncil. 

  • Plf October 7, 2019 (5:14 pm)

    So it’s clear Farrell is back on the street ?hopefully that’s not correct after the vicious attack

    • WSB October 7, 2019 (6:51 pm)

      No, it’s not clear. He may well be at WSH. The patient register is not public information – medical privacy laws.

      • Glen October 7, 2019 (7:08 pm)

        He could have also been evaluated for civil commitment, detained as such, and sent to a psych hospital.

      • Will S. October 8, 2019 (10:17 am)

        Based on the photo of Farrell being arrested, I might have seen Farrell on the C line a couple of weeks ago. I was riding home late from work sometime between 9 and 11 pm, and a similar-looking man was spewing racial abuse and other nonsense that seemed to be directed at no one in particular, although the two other riders in the back of the bus were both people of color. One of those riders moved to the front while we were on California, and the other had headphones on and didn’t seem to notice. I decided that this man was too incompetent to be confronted, and I left at my stop without saying anything. Now that I’m reading this news, I regret not reporting the man to the driver and police.

  • jissy October 7, 2019 (5:17 pm)

    OMG, that man beat that clerk at Juneau market within an inch of her life, completely unprovoked and he is now back walking the streets?   HOLY. SH*#.  I thought they were supposed to be held at Western States indefinitely if they were unable to restore competency.  What on earth is happening with our legal system.     We need to plaster this man’s pictures all over WS and be on high alert.

    • ACG October 9, 2019 (10:10 pm)

      Agreed, Jissy. I wish there was something stronger to charge him with. “Assault” doesn’t seem like enough. If you punch someone, you can get charged with assault. This man viscously and repeatedly beat that woman and nearly killed her.  I watched the security footage and it was horrifying.  But, I’m not  knowledgeable in criminal law and don’t know the different levels that a prosecutor can charge someone with. Maybe there’s nothing between assault and attempted murder (or whatever they call it in this state)- which is a shame. This man is very dangerous.  Blessings to the victim. I hope she is doing okay. 

  • DRW October 7, 2019 (5:32 pm)

    I know the judge has to remain impartial and uphold the law. Have you seen the video of the attack? Im just going to judge from that. He needs to be anywhere else other than out.

  • Mj October 7, 2019 (5:53 pm)

    DRW I second your comment.

  • Ex-Seattliete October 7, 2019 (6:06 pm)

    Seeing just how many dangerous people completely escape the justice system is one of the top reasons I decided to leave Seattle.  I guess they’ll remain out on the streets until they murder someone (and in Osborne’s case, instigate yet another death)…It’s really sad to see & hope the public stays safe.  

  • M October 7, 2019 (6:48 pm)

    Not competent to stand trial and answer for their crimes yet plenty competent to be returned to West Seattle and terrorize us all? I feel awful for the victims in these cases and for the future victims of these criminals. I just wish there was a picture of this Nick so I and my family can avoid him in the community. 

    • AHneighbor October 7, 2019 (8:44 pm)

      I second this – how is it so hard to find a photo of him with all these arrests?

      • WSB October 7, 2019 (9:48 pm)

        I guess we should have an FAQ on this. Mug shots are NOT available except in these cases:
        -the person has served state prison time
        -they are a registered sex offender
        -police circulate them because they are searching for someone (usually only happens in very high-profile violent-crime cases)

  • Sixbuck October 7, 2019 (7:16 pm)

    I agree that Nick Osborne is a threat to society, but I find it very unfair and, given the facts, to say he “instigated” a death.  Seemed more like self defense to me. 

    • Ex-Seattleite October 7, 2019 (8:06 pm)

      He has a documented history of threatening people with murder, and he also tried to set police car on fire with the policeman inside (while yelling “Let’s both burn in hell!”). Given his extensive criminal history, I personally don’t think the death he caused was solely self-defense. That being said, all I care about is that no else is attacked by him (or anyone else who shouldn’t be free to hurt others). 

    • A-Red October 8, 2019 (10:45 am)

      @Sixbuck I agree we all need to know the facts before branding someone a criminal, or in this case, a murderer.  Based on an incident that I personally witnessed, I believe that Mr. Osborne initiated the confrontation with racist vitriol, and that the two other parties decided to fight it out. Regretfully one of them died in the process.  Fact is, if you run around shouting racist epithets at people–particularly young men–you are going to get into a fight. Did Mr. Osborne have the right to kill in ‘self defense?’ Maybe by the letter of the law, and maybe he’ll do it again.

  • flimflam October 7, 2019 (7:42 pm)

    “a report indicated that a third try at restoring competency was not likely to render him able to participate in his defense, and a judge dismissed the charges”ok then, please, someone explain this one away? awful.

  • CAM October 7, 2019 (8:14 pm)

    Just to clarify the above statement “released” from jail does not tell you where any individual currently is or their current legal status. It merely tells you what their location is not. If the individual was going to be detained on a long term civil commitment at a tertiary mental health facility it would be a requirement that they be released from jail. The jail is not going to tell you where they went unless they remain in the custody of another correctional institution. And it’s not going to tell you the specifics of why they were released. A person who is being evaluated for long-term civil commitment after the dismissal of felony charges would almost certainly not have that evaluation completed while in jail unless there were some extreme circumstances in place. 

  • Ashamed of Seattle October 8, 2019 (2:13 pm)

    Liberals and progressives are just as ignorant and just as hateful as conservatives are. Both of these defendants have clear and well-documented histories of mental illness.  They need access the health care.  And yet these West Seattle liberals, like right wing redneck pro-Trump cohorts in Bakersfield, CA, want to solve a MEDICAL problem with a CRIMINAL solution.Treat the illness and you cure the consequence. Doing so requires access to money we don’t have and will never have unless we take it from those who have it:  the rich.  And the rich don’t want to.  It’s f—ing shocking how billionaires in Seattle will snap their fingers and good progressives will bark. 

    • CAM October 8, 2019 (3:10 pm)

      Of those commenters above that have familiar usernames I would have to say that most of their comment history on this blog that I can recall would not fall in the category of progressive or liberal ideology. I don’t think the majority of Seattle would agree with the above commenters. I struggle to remind myself of that often though when reading the comments on this (and other) sites. 

    • Mike October 8, 2019 (7:18 pm)

      The money is there, the taxes have already taken it from us, the citizens.  We should expect our “leaders” to live up to their oath of office and serve the citizens of our community.  No taxation without representation!  There’s already over $1.2B funding homelessness in this state each year.  If mental illness and addiction are part of that, then we should all be asking where the money went for that.  Somebody has it, not me, probably not you (although I wonder sometimes reading comments).

  • hopelearns October 10, 2019 (10:47 pm)

    Medical intervention *and* safety for the public – hopefully both have been served here. Is there any way to at least find out whether Mr. Ditschinger is confined or at large?

Sorry, comment time is over.