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Man accused in Gresham MAX station attack found unfit to proceed in court

Koryn Kraemer, 25, received a "qualifying mental health diagnosis" from jail medical staff and will be brought to the Oregon State Hospital for up to a year.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The man accused of an unprovoked and bloody attack on an older man at a Gresham MAX platform early this month has been found unable to aid and assist in his own legal defense, according to court documents.

Koryn Daniel Kraemer, 25, was charged with second-degree assault following the attack, which happened on the Cleveland TriMet MAX platform off Northeast 8th Street in Gresham. 

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Jan. 3, Kraemer allegedly assaulted 78-year-old Gary Wayne Krussow, biting off the older man's ear and mauling the skin on part of his face. The attack was still ongoing when officers arrived at the scene.

This Tuesday, Kraemer appeared to court for a hearing on his fitness to proceed. His defense attorney worked with him to complete an evaluation, according to court documents.

During the hearing, jail medical staff were able to come up with a "qualifying mental health diagnosis for the defendant."

"Based off an in-court colloquy performed today, the court finds the defendant unable to assist," the court documents state.

The judge's order noted that Kraemer requires a hospital level due to public safety concerns and the severity of his symptoms. It was determined that he'd be sent to the Oregon State Hospital.

Under the court order committing Kraemer to the state psychiatric hospital's custody, he'll be sent to the hospital for a year, maximum.

The "aid and assist" system at Oregon State Hospital has been under severe strain in recent years. In September, the hospital was ordered to start releasing patients early — specifically those who are awaiting trial for criminal charges — because it has been so consistently full.

At the same time, the state has been sued by multiple hospital systems who say that they're being forced to provide care for people with severe mental illness because the state psychiatric hospital is not admitting enough people.

Typically, defendants like Kraemer who have been found unable to aid and assist in their own defense are sent to the Oregon State Hospital for stabilization. Once deemed fit to proceed, they're returned to jail and the court system.

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