GRANITE FALLS — A judge Thursday found a Mount Vernon man mentally competent to stand trial, as he faces charges of shooting two men to death in separate incidents in Burlington and Granite Falls.
Last month, Snohomish County prosecutors charged Finley Hilde, 22, with second-degree murder in the August shooting death of a stranger Jordan Hurtado, of Everett. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Millie Judge ordered he undergo a competency evaluation to determine if he was able to stand trial.
After the evaluation, Superior Court Judge Richard Okrent found him competent Thursday. A tentative trial date was set for December, but that will likely be postponed.
On Aug. 19, Hilde allegedly killed a man in Burlington, shooting him in the back as he tried to flee, according to court documents. Prosecutors in Skagit County have charged him with second-degree murder.
Around 11 a.m. the day after that shooting, Hilde drove a dump truck emblazoned with his last name on the side to the weigh station at the Iron Mountain Quarry in Granite Falls, according to the murder charges filed in Superior Court.
Security footage reportedly shows the suspect talking to the weigh station operator. Hurtado, another quarry employee, asked Hilde what type of rock he had in his truck. Hurtado then walked to his own truck. Hilde drove off the weigh station scale into a gravel lot.
The operator, who police described as Hurtado’s girlfriend, told police the two men had been arguing, the charges say. She called another employee for help.
Hilde and Hurtado reportedly walked out of view of the surveillance camera. There was no one else around.
They were out of view for five or six seconds before the video showed Hurtado falling to the ground. The weigh station operator reported hearing several gunshots, according to court papers. Hurtado died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds. He was 27.
Hilde ran to his truck and drove away, according to the charges. The operator told police the shooter had fled in a truck with “Hilde” written on the side. Snohomish County deputies found him a few minutes later. They found two pistols and a box of ammunition inside the truck.
The weigh station operator reportedly told police she was 100% sure the detained man was the same one who shot her boyfriend.
Investigators asked if Hilde wanted to talk.
“(Expletive) no,” he responded, according to court documents.
He later backtracked and agreed to talk. In a police interview, Hilde said he’d never talked to Hurtado before that day. He reported getting into an argument with the victim. He told detectives he was concerned for his safety, so he unholstered his Glock, according to court papers.
The suspect reported Hurtado said he was going to get his gun and kill Hilde, the charges say.
Then, Hilde told police, he “heard from God,” who “gave him permission” to shoot Hurtado, deputy prosecutor Katherine Wetmore wrote in the charging papers.
Hurtado walked away, but Hilde reported continuing to confront the victim. Hurtado seemed fidgety, so he pulled his gun and shot, Hilde reportedly told detectives.
Hilde also said he hears voices and could see into a person’s soul. He denied any mental health issues and said he does not take medication, according to the charges.
The defendant had no criminal history, court records show. On Thursday, he was held in the Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $3 million. He also has a $2 million arrest warrant for the Skagit County case.
Hilde is represented by Jason Powers, a private defense attorney based in Mount Vernon.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; email@example.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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