High to be examined for mental competence
By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer
A Fifth District Court judge Monday ordered Gail J. High,
who is charged with trying to shoot the wife of a Ketchum police officer,
examined by a psychiatrist to determine if she is fit to stand trial.
An arraignment for High has been set for June 18 in Fifth
District Court in Hailey.
Gail High, accused of attempted murder
of a police officer in December, appeared Monday in Fifth District Court
in Hailey. Express photo by Willy Cook
High, a 38-year-old former clerk with the Sun Valley
Police Department, was indicted by a grand jury in January on charges of
attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault, burglary and the use
of a firearm to commit a crime, all felonies.
High allegedly tried to shoot Colleen Kassner, the wife of
Ketchum police sergeant Dave Kassner, on Dec. 16. The officer had earlier
cited High for DUI.
High was intercepted and subdued at the Kassner home by
their roommate, John Straka. A shot was allegedly fired from High’s
.40-caliber handgun during the struggle.
For most of the time since her arrest, High has been
involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities. She is currently
confined at the Mini-Cassia Criminal Justice Center in Burley, a county
jail, because the Blaine County jail is full.
During a court proceeding Monday, Judge James May ordered
the psychiatric examination after both prosecution and defense agreed to
its advisability. May ordered High transported to Ketchum for each
examination by Dr. Gerald Brooks.
Under Idaho law, a defendant cannot be tried or convicted
if "as a result of mental disease or defect [he] lacks capacity to
understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense…"
Due to a legal conflict of interest between the Blaine
County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Sun Valley Police
Department, the case is being prosecuted by the Idaho Attorney General’s