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Provo man who sparked police shootout found not competent

Published March 14, 2013 3:35 pm

Courts • Man faces attempted murder and drug charges in Nov. 19 incident.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Provo man who was charged with attempted murder after he allegedly sparked a shootout with Utah County authorities attempting to serve a search warrant at his home has been ruled not competent to stand trial.

Alex Janis Opmanis, 21, is also charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in a drug free zone, a second-degree felony, illegally possessing a weapon, a third-degree felony, and possessing drug paraphernalia in connection with the Nov. 19 incident.

On Tuesday, 4th District Judge Steven Hansen ruled that Opmanis was not competent to proceed after hearing testimony from several mental health experts.

The finding indicates that the man cannot appreciate the charges against him, and cannot assist in defending himself in court. He was sent to the Utah State Hospital for treatment.

A review hearing was set for June 11.

Authorities allege they announced their presence and used a ram to attempt to open the locked front door of Opmanis' home, according to a probable cause statement. The ram made a hole, but failed to open the door because it was locked.

When the door didn't open, a second officer started to kick and push the door while continuing to announce the officers' presence.

Opmanis allegedly fired a gun several times through the front door while the officer was kicking it. Police said he admitted to firing four rounds from a .22-caliber revolver at the front door because he thought a group of Polynesian males was trying to force their way inside.

No officers were hit, but police say several were struck by either BBs from the shots fired or debris from the door and suffered injuries to their arms and faces.

Officers returned fire and Opmanis was taken into custody.

Opmanis allegedly told police that when he realized it was, in fact, police officers at the door, he dropped his gun and surrendered.

Police said when they searched Opmanis' home they found 1.58 ounces of marijuana, a set of digital scales, two buy/owe sheets in a nightstand and a marijuana pipe.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller