A Kennewick teen accused of kidnapping and plotting to kill his great-grandmother has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.
The case against Dyllan K. Martin, 16, was put on hold Thursday after Judge Alex Ekstrom granted the defense request in Benton County Superior Court in Kennewick.
However, attorneys don’t know if Martin’s competency will be evaluated by Eastern State Hospital staff or if he must meet with an independent forensic psychologist who specializes in minors.
Martin will return to court Dec. 31 for a decision.
The teen’s case automatically was bumped up to Superior Court because of his age and the severity of the charges.
Earlier this month, a judge ordered 15-year-old Billy J. Underwood to be tried as an adult for the same charges. He has a Feb. 8 trial date.
Meanwhile, prosecutors still haven’t decided if they want to keep the case of Katlyn Kenfield in Juvenile Court or try to move her to adult court.
The 15-year-old girl appeared in court Friday and a decline hearing was set for Feb. 5. Another court date will be scheduled before then if prosecutors opt to keep her as a juvenile.
According to police and court documents, Martin and Underwood planned for about three weeks to steal Hazel Abel’s car.
That plan eventually developed into the boys intending to kill the 86-year-old Kennewick woman by leaving her in an unpopulated area where she would die from exposure, or leaving her in the trunk while they set fire to the car, documents show.
On Nov. 2, Martin gave some dirt to Underwood to throw in his great-grandmother’s face when she opened the door of her South Skagit Avenue home. Underwood then allegedly knocked down the victim and the boys bound her hands and took her to the car.
Abel’s dog was placed in the trunk with her.
The teens and Kenfield — who was 14 at the time and dating Underwood — drove to Portland, stopping at a nearby Walmart about 3 a.m., court documents said. They were in the store when Abel freed her hands, used the trunk release and crawled out to get help, documents said.
Security video reportedly shows the teens running from the store after seeing the trunk pop open. They were arrested a few hours later at a gas station, and eventually extradited to Washington.
They all are charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and vehicle theft. The kidnapping charge includes aggravating circumstances that Abel was vulnerable and that the crime was deliberately cruel.
Martin has been ordered to have no contact with his great-grandmother while the case is pending. He is in the Benton County jail on $250,000 bail.
Underwood, who is in juvenile detention, has $150,000 bail.
During Kenfield’s hearing Friday, defense attorney Deric Orr asked that the girl be released to the custody of her mother and placed on house arrest with monitoring by juvenile probation officers.
Court Commissioner Joseph Schneider denied the request and kept Kenfield’s bail at $50,000 because the teen was a runaway at the time of the alleged crime and the seriousness of the case.
Orr told the Herald that he and co-counsel Scott Johnson are hopeful prosecutors will elect not to decline Kenfield to adult court, particularly after informing the court of new evidence showing the teen allegedly had been victimized for a while.
“More and more information keeps coming to light in this case that makes it pretty clear that Katlyn was in a pretty abusive relationship with one of the co-defendants, and we just wanted to put forth that evidence of physical abuse and psychological abuse,” Orr said. “We are really confident that she was not as much a willing participant in this as was initially thought.”