Buckley man found incompetent to stand trial for illegal firearms, explosives charges

An outpatient treatment center was unable to restore Donald Andrew Linder’s competency over the last eight months.

A Buckley man accused of possessing illegal firearms and explosives has had his case dismissed after being found incompetent to stand trial.

Donald Andrew Linder was arrested March 20 after a report of him shooting a neighbor’s house.

Although Pierce County deputies only found pellets — not bullets or casings — around the home, witnesses told law enforcement that the shooting has become a regular issue; one added that Linder showed her what appeared to be “black and had round marble sized round things” that she believed were explosive devices.

Deputies then contacted Linder by phone, who told them he was fine and nothing was going on, though Linder added that his neighbors were trying to “microwave” him, among other things that were incoherent.

Linder agreed to meet deputies outside, where he was detained while a search warrant was being processed.

While searching his home, deputies found multiple pellet guns and a loaded AR-15 rifle with a 8-inch barrel and an overall length of 26 inches). The serial number of the firearm was painted over.

Public Safety Bomb Technicians also searched the home and recovered 14 CO2 cartridges with green wiring.

The cartridges appeared to be originally used for air guns, but had been converted into improvised explosive devices known commonly as “crickets”, which are typically filled with low explosive materials.

Some of the IEDs were empty, but others were filled with what seemed to be gunpowder or flash powder and additional fragmentation.

Another two devices were discovered shortly later.

After being arrested, Linder was charged with unlawful possession of an incendiary device, unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle, unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree, and malicious mischief in the third degree.

However, a psych eval revealed Linder was unable to stand trial at that time, finding that his unspecified delusional disorder and an amphetamine-type substance use disorder meant he could not understand the charges filed against him or participate in his own defense.

As such, he was ordered to undergo outpatient care to restore competency, against Pierce County prosecutor’s objections.

But after two such orders — one in April and another in August — prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges against Linder, as another psych eval determined “there is not sufficient evidence available to suggest that there is a substantial probability that a third period of outpatient restoration would result in meaningful change in his presentation.”

At this time, the court has ordered Linder be released on his own personal recognizance but also to be placed on a state list for a civil commitment evaluation.

It is unclear where Linder is currently residing, or when a civil commitment evaluation and related court hearing may occur.