WENATCHEE — A man accused of severely injuring another man by stomping on his head two and a half years ago remains incompetent to stand trial for the crime.
Isaac S. Sprauer, 31, was ruled incompetent Thursday for the third time since his April 2011 arrest in the beating of Keith R. Booze, now 33, who suffered brain damage in the attack. Sprauer has spent the intervening years either jailed or in psychiatric hospitalization, and undergone a battery of mental health exams and treatment.
Chelan County Superior Court Judge Alicia Nakata ruled Thursday there’s been “no significant change” in Sprauer’s mental status since June 2012, when an Eastern State Hospital psychologist testified he suffered from delusional psychosis. His attorney, Jeffrey Barker, said it doesn’t appear that therapy can restore Sprauer to legal competence.
Sprauer is accused of stomping on Booze’s head multiple times during a fight outside a party in the 1300 block of Brown Street in Wenatchee. Booze was prone in the street at the time after a second defendant, Devin A. Wood, flipped him to the ground and kicked him once in the head. Wood pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in November 2011 and was sentenced to a year in jail.
But Sprauer’s case has lingered as lawyers disputed his ability to understand his legal circumstances and aid his defense in court. He has peppered Chelan County judges with letters ever since his arrest, claiming to own a 215-acre Texas ranch and other multimillion-dollar properties in the U.S. and abroad. His most recent letter, on Sept. 28, alleged the FBI was interfering with his efforts to defend himself.
Sprauer’s competence was previously questioned in a 2008 federal case that charged him with unlawfully possessing firearm ammunition after a felony conviction. Witnesses testified he’d exhibited paranoia and delusional behavior since his teen years, and his court-appointed psychologist diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. He was ultimately judged competent and sentenced to 51 months in prison after pleading guilty.
No further hearings have been set in the case. Booze, who was hospitalized for 10 weeks after the attack, is the stepson of Chelan County deputy prosecutor Ed Stevensen; Douglas County deputy prosecutor Eric Biggar was assigned to manage the state’s case to avoid a conflict of interest.