POCATELLO -- The first hint that Nicklas Frasure's hearing was going to be unusual came at the outset when the man attempted to fire his court-appointed counsel. It eventually culminated with the man's mouth bound with duct tape in an attempt to quell his frequent and irrational outbursts.
Frasure, 23, appeared before Sixth District Judge Peter D. McDermott Monday morning for an evidentiary hearing on reports of a probation violation for a 2008 felony theft conviction. Frasure's counsel, Kent Reynolds, requested near the outset that his client undergo a competency exam, a point Frasure hotly contested.
Frasure's tangential and odd comments persisted throughout the hearing, with his mood rapidly changing from incredulity to outrage to apparent mirth regarding his court appearance. At one point, Frasure referred to his appearance as a form of "terrorism."
McDermott, whose general demeanor toward defendants is patient and gentle, tried unsuccessfully on numerous occasions to quiet Frasure's insistent non sequiturs until after the prosecutor and his own attorney had concluded.
"The last two months he started being really bizarre," the woman said.
The presence of his mother on the stand increased Frasure's outbursts, many of them referring to his needless persecution and his religious faith. Frasure continued to interrupt the proceedings, asking his mother to admit to murder.
After several more lengthy and jumbled outbursts and additional warnings about a gag being employed, McDermott finally indicated he'd had enough, ordering the bailiffs to duct tape the man's mouth. The proceedings halted for several minutes while bailiffs retrieved the tape, tore a piece from the roll and applied it over the man's mouth.
"He's obviously not mentally competent," Reynolds said.
"I don't know how to proceed when Mr. Frasure is totally psychotically disabled," Reynolds said, causing McDermott to ask the woman if she felt her son was mentally ill and might harm her. The woman replied "yes" to both questions.
"He is probably the most mentally unstable person I have ever supervised," Guiberson said.
Guiberson noted that one of the probation provisions that Frasure was alleged to have violated was a requirement to take all prescribed medications. She said that Frasure had admitted to having stopped taking his medications due to side effects.
At the close of the hearing, Frasure's gag was removed and he again engaged in a rambling discourse. McDermott thanked the man for his comments.
McDermott declined to make a determination regarding Frasure's alleged probation violations, deciding to commit the man to a secure Department of Correction facility in Boise for evaluation and treatment rather than the non-secure facility in Blackfoot.
"I want to see you get better," McDermott told Frasure.
"You want to arm wrestle?" was Frasure's reply before being led from the courtroom by bailiffs.
This document was originally published online on Tuesday, April 21, 2009