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Suicide by cop attempt: Albany woman found guilty except for insanity of attempted murder
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Suicide by cop attempt: Albany woman found guilty except for insanity of attempted murder

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An Albany woman charged with trying to murder three law enforcement officers in a "suicide by cop" attempt has been committed to the Oregon State Hospital after being found guilty except for insanity.

Micayla Noel Martin was placed under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Psychiatric Review Board for care, custody and treatment for up to 51 years at the conclusion of a hearing in Linn County Circuit Court on Nov. 19.

Martin was found guilty except for insanity of three counts of attempted second-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree assault and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

Judge Brendan Kane wrote in his judgment that Martin had a mental disorder, and at the time she engaged in criminal conduct, she lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of the conduct or to conform her conduct to the requirements of the law.

“Because of the defendant’s qualifying mental disorder, she represents a substantial danger to others,” Kane wrote.

The crimes occurred the afternoon of April 27 in Albany, and the Albany Police Department investigated the case.

Martin, who was 23 years old at the time, reportedly went to the home of a Linn County Sheriff’s Office deputy with a knife and attempted to force law enforcement officers to shoot her. According to an APD news release, Martin called 911 and told a dispatcher she was walking from house to house in an attempt to find a “sheriff” to kill.

Court paperwork states that Martin stopped in front of an LCSO sergeant’s house in her neighborhood. The law enforcement officer and his family were aware of Martin because she had made previous statements about killing the deputy, who lived down the street from her, with an AK-47.

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The sergeant was off-duty at his residence with his wife and child. His wife, who had been working in the office in the front of the home, alerted him that Martin was standing out front.

“Fearing serious physical injury or even death by Micayla Martin, he directed his family members to huddle together upstairs while he remained downstairs armed with his firearm, in case Micayla Martin made entry,” reads a stipulation of evidence signed by both the prosecution and the defense attorney in the case. The sergeant then received a call from dispatch warning him about Martin.

He had a Ring doorbell video camera and could see Martin outside his front door. He did not open it, and she eventually left.

A review of camera footage showed that Martin was standing at the front door holding a cell phone to her ear with her right hand while her left hand was held behind her, court paperwork states.

When APD officers arrived at the scene, they immediately told several residents outside to go to their homes and stay inside for their safety.

Martin reportedly refused repeated attempts to persuade her to drop the knife, raised the weapon and charged at an officer from half a block away. She was shot with a less-lethal 40mm impact round, which caused her to stumble and fall within 10 feet of another officer. She then attempted to get up, still armed, but officers were able to subdue her with electric stun guns, secure the knife and take her into custody, according to police accounts.

A psychologist who interviewed Martin at the Linn County Jail in May said that “voices” commanded Martin to hurt people and kill an officer. Those voices would not stop until Martin acted on them due to her obsessive-compulsive disorder, the psychologist added. She thought that Martin needed to be placed in an inpatient medical facility, according to court paperwork.

A psychiatrist at the Oregon State Hospital also interviewed Martin and concluded that she lacked substantial capacity to conform her conduct to the requirements of the law because of her manic symptoms and would require a hospital level of care.   

Martin’s defense attorney Tim Felling did not return a phone call regarding this article.

Prosecutor Ani Yardumian couldn’t be contacted for comment.

Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter via @KyleOdegard.

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