Alleged courtroom attacker pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

The McCleary man accused of attacking a Grays Harbor County judge and a deputy pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Friday morning in Lewis County Superior Court.

Steven D. Kravetz, 34, was deemed competent to stand trial last week by a Lewis County judge, but Kravetz’s attorney strongly objected to the idea that his client was mentally capable of aiding in his own defense.

David Arcuri, Kravetz’s defense attorney, told the court last week that he had serious trouble getting his client to focus or participate in discussions about the case.

Kravetz is charged with attempted second-degree murder, assault and disarming a law enforcement officer for allegedly shooting a sheriff’s deputy and stabbing a Superior Court judge in the County Courthouse in Montesano on March 9. Both the judge and deputy have recovered from the injuries.

Dressed in blue jail garb with his hands chained to his waist, Kravetz was escorted into the courtroom Friday morning by three corrections officers. For his entire court appearance, Kravetz leaned forward in his chair with his head turned away from reporters seated on the other side of the courtroom.

In addition to his not guilty pleas, Kravetz also waived his right to a speedy trial. A trial was tentatively set for next spring.

Arcuri also filed a motion to request state funding, totalling $1,200, to hire a psychiatrist to aid in Kravetz’s mental health.

“The insanity issue alone in this matter is huge,” Arcuri said.

In order to avoid a conflict of interest in the charging and prosecution of the case, Lewis County Judge Richard Brosey is set to preside over the case.

Currently the trial is set to take place in Grays Harbor County; however, there is a possibility the defense will request a change of venue, according to Grays Harbor Prosecutor Stew Menefee.

Kravetz is being held in Mason County Jail with $900,000 bail.