Johnson-Barr murder suspect to get mental health evaluation
The man accused of raping and killing a 10-year-old Kotzebue girl last year has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
The order for Peter Wilson, 42, was handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess according to federal court records. It came in response to “defense counsel's concerns on defendant's mental competency,” regarding a charge that Wilson made false statements to FBI agents investigating the disappearance of 10-year-old Ashley Johnson-Barr.
Johnson-Barr was reported missing in September, prompting a massive search that ended with the discovery of her body about a mile from town. Wilson faces state charges of kidnapping, sexual abuse of a minor and murder in her death, after he allegedly took Johnson-Barr’s cellphone from her body and falsely claimed he found it on a local street.
Chloe Martin, a spokeswoman for Alaska U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder’s office, said Wednesday that Burgess’ order will temporarily place Wilson in federal Bureau of Prisons custody out of state. It wasn’t immediately clear where Wilson would be taken, or for how long his evaluation would continue.
“Those usually take months,” Martin said.
The order also vacated Wilson’s jury trial on the federal false statements charge, which had been set to begin April 1.
Janis Harper and Scott Jensen contributed information to this story.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.