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Repeat offender could face new laws

Morgan Aguilar
April 20, 2017 06:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A man with more than 30 arrests and zero convictions remains in custody.

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Mitchell Rockwood continues to be released after being found incompetent to stand trial. That means a judge determined he is not capable of understanding the charges against him.

Rockwood has been charged with battery on police officers, vandalism and disorderly conduct. He's been in custody since November for his most recent charges.

He was scheduled to have another competency hearing Thursday morning, but it was pushed back. Defense attorney Robert Work did not want to move forward with Rockwood’s case while a news camera was in the room.

"All proceedings relating to competency pursuant to the rule are sealed your honor," Work said.

Judge Charles Brown asked the attorneys to request a new hearing on dangerousness. If it is determined Rockwood is a serious threat to the community, he could be detained by the department of health in a secure facility and his case would be made public.

Neither attorney wanted to go on camera, but Work told KOB that cameras and APD uniforms agitate his client. Lapel video and audio recordings have caught Rockwood’s outbursts more than once over the years.

At a court appearance in November, Rockwood threatened to kill police officers several times. In 2014, Rockwood was accused of throwing a rock at an APD officer's home, shattering a window where the officer's 12-year-old son sleeps.

Cases like his prompted lawmakers to pass a new mental health law allowing judges to order treatment. The new law went into effect in July, but we’ll have to wait to see whether it will be used in Rockwood’s case. 

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Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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