Southern Utah News Articles
Curley competency hearing underway
Scott Curley is facing premeditated first degree murder charges in the 2010 shooting death of Kane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Harris near Fredonia, AZ. A competency hearing is currently underway in Coconino County concerning Curley’s mental state to face trial.
Kane County Deputy Brian Harris was shot and killed on August 26, 2010, while pursuing Curley on foot approximately three miles east of Fredonia. Curley fled and became the target of a four day manhunt which involved 29 agencies, with over 300 law enforcement officers from numerous agencies including the U.S. Marshall’s Office and FBI. Curley was apprehended August 30 east of Kanab, near the Arizona/Utah border.
Attorney Brad Bransky, who is representing Curley, said his client is intent on revealing his own truth about the shooting, which includes talk of dragons, a tri-force and a test of humanity. Curley’s description of the shooting has been consistent, saying he hid and intentionally fired an assault rifle at someone who didn’t listen to his demands to freeze.
Mental health expert for the defense, Barry Morenz, characterized Curley as a paranoid schizophrenic. He said that Curley believes, and is guided by, his hallucinations.
Prosecution challenged Morenz’s conclusion that Curley is incompetent. They pointed to Curley’s consistency over the past 14 months of interviews concerning what happened. They argued that due to that, he’s capable of assisting his lawyers.
Formally, Curley pleaded not guilty in court to the murder charge, as well as charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary and theft. Curley has told authorities and mental health experts that he’s guilty.
The hearing has been attended by both Curley’s family members, as well as Deputy Harris’ friends and family members.