A man accused of killing a Whitman College employee may never have an arraignment.

Colby J. Hedman, 24, of no known address, has been ordered to receive three months of “competency restoration treatment” at Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake, according to court records. He only will plead “if his competency is restored,” Walla Walla County Prosecutor Jim Nagle said.

Hedman’s arraignment was continued in September, as lawyers were awaiting results of a competency evaluation. On Nov. 18, an order for treatment was entered, stating “the defendant lacks the capacity to assist in his/her own defense as a result of mental disease or defect.” He was admitted into inpatient treatment for 90 days at the Department of Social and Health Services’s hospital.

He may or may not receive medication or other therapy to determine if his competency can be restored. If medication is required, any future detention facility must continue it unless a no forced medication order exists.

A status hearing was scheduled for Feb. 10, 2020, to see if the hospital issued a report before the end of the 90 days, Nagle said.

Hedman’s bail was set at $1 million in September, after he was extradited from Baker County, Ore., on charges of first-degree murder and vehicle theft in connection with the slaying of Kyle Martz, 35, of Walla Walla, in July.

Hedman admitted to police he struck Martz with an ax multiple times before stealing his car and fleeing to Oregon, where he was arrested near Baker City, after trying to elude police the same day. Police suspect the the two didn’t know each other.

He also allegedly broke into a home on Taggert Lane in Oregon and moved items from Martz’s pickup truck into the homeowners’ truck. He then allegedly fled on foot after deputies confronted him, but later returned to the home and took off in a Jeep, which he totaled after leading police on a chase, reports stated.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.