Mental exam ordered for murder suspect

Posted 9/24/21

Miguel Ortega, the suspect in a killing in Warrenton in May, will undergo a mental examination as part of criminal proceedings against him.

Associate Circuit Judge Richard Scheibe ordered the …

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Mental exam ordered for murder suspect

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Miguel Ortega, the suspect in a killing in Warrenton in May, will undergo a mental examination as part of criminal proceedings against him.

Associate Circuit Judge Richard Scheibe ordered the examination at the request of defense attorney Matthew Radefeld of St. Louis. Missouri’s Department of Mental Health will perform the examination to determine whether Ortega suffers from any “mental disease or defect” that would prevent him from understanding the proceedings against him or assisting in his own defense. Examiners have also been directed to determine whether Ortega should be held in a secure mental health facility, rather than the Warren County Jail.

The result of the mental examination could determine how the court proceeds with charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action against Ortega. Part of the evaluation includes whether Ortega understood the nature of his actions when he allegedly shot and killed María De Jesús Gutiérrez Vargas on May 1.

The case has been suspended until results of the mental examination are returned to the court.

Ortega is accused of shooting Vargas, his former spouse, after arguing with her over the phone and then driving to her house on Anthony Steven Court.

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