Alleged Vail shooter Moreau to be examined at state mental hospital |

Alleged Vail shooter Moreau to be examined at state mental hospital

EAGLE – Richard “Rossi” Moreau will spend more than a month in a state mental hospital, a District Court judge said Thursday.

At Thursday’s hearing, District Court Judge Thomas Moorhead said Moreau would be transported April 8 to the Colorado Institute of Mental Health in Pueblo, and stay there until May 23.

Moreau pleaded not guilty to the eight felony charges, including first-degree murder, he faces in connection with the Nov. 7, 2009, shooting at the Sandbar in West Vail.

Moreau was filmed on the Sandbar’s security video system shooting Dr. Gary Kitching of Carbondale, and wounding others. When the local SWAT team stormed the bar and captured him, he asked that they kill him.

Moorhead ruled last month that Moreau must receive a mental health evaluation, which the District Attorney’s Office had requested.

Moreau has to be examined before his public defenders can introduce any expert witnesses to testify about his mental condition at the time of the rampage, his attorney Dana Christiansen has said.

“Until we have everyone’s reports, we are unable to take any action,” Christensen told Moorhead Tuesday.

Moreau was wearing a wool sports jacket, blue jeans, a crisply pressed shirt open at the collar and carrying a yellow legal pad.

He and Christiansen huddled at the defendant’s table to the judge’s left. Hurlbert and Steve Mallory sat to Moorhead’s right.

Moreau will be back in court April 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Christiansen and co-defense counsel Reed Owens told the court in December that they would present evidence to try to prove Moreau is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Moreau served in the Vietnam War and has a long history of alcohol and drug abuse.

When defense attorneys made that clear, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert and Deputy District Attorney Steven Mallory asked the court to order the evaluation in Pueblo.

Moreau’s trial was originally scheduled for September 2010, but was postponed until February and now at least until July.

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