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Grand Coulee man ruled competent for trial


A Grand Coulee man, Melvin Toulou Jr., 43, was found competent for trial after a Grant County Superior Court hearing last week.

In the July 18 proceeding, Toulou’s attorney told the court that Toulou was not mentally competent to assist in his own defense. After an evaluation by officials at Eastern State Hospital, the courts decreed that Toulou was competent to stand trial, and a new trial date was set for Sept. 20, according to county Assistant Prosecutor Alan White.

Toulou was facing a number of charges which included possession of methamphetamine; two counts of assaulting police officers, each a felony charge; plus a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer.

All events allegedly occurred in Grand Coulee, Feb. 4.

A hearing on the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence was set for Aug. 9, and the court stated that other pre-trial hearing dates would be established.

The charges of assaulting police officers stemmed from an incident involving Sgt. Gary Moore and Officer Joe Higgs during an attempt to arrest Toulou.

Toulou is currently serving a 29-month sentence imposed by the court March 16, following a two-day jury trial earlier this year.

Charges in that case stemmed from a car prowl and possession of stolen property Aug. 13, 2016.

Toulou had been arrested for being in possession of a stolen digital camera and some fishing gear taken from a Grand Coulee residence.

Grant County Prosecuting Attorney Garth Dano said Toulou was given the maximum sentence in that case.

White, from the prosecutor’s office, is handling the current case against Toulou.


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