SALEM -- A judge has ruled that the man accused of killing the Rainier police chief last year is mentally competent to stand trial.

Daniel Butts, 22, will now be tried in court for the murder of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter.

From the courtroom: KGWreporter Kyle Iboshi's Twitter feed

Painter was killed outside an auto shop in Rainier during a struggle with Butts, of Kalama, on Jan. 5, 2011.

Butts was arrested last January and eventually transferred to the Oregon State Hospital for mental evaluation.

Psychiatrist Dr. Jerry Larsen testified during the competency hearing for the defense. He said that Butts would not cooperate when he attempted to evaluate him. Larsen later told the court he thought Butts was mentally ill and may be schizophrenic. However, attorneys for the state argued that he was fine.

If Butts is found guilty by a jury, he could face the death penalty.

KGWReporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report

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