OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Attorneys want to know if the man accused of killing an Oklahoma County Deputy is competent enough to stand trial.
On Wednesday, 35-year-old Benjamin Plank appeared before Judge Amy Palumbo.
His defense attorneys asked for an application for determination of competency. They want to know if he understands what’s going on in court and if he is competent enough to work with attorneys.
Plank, 35, is accused of ambushing Oklahoma County Deputies, Bobby Swartz, Mark Johns, and Melody Norton, while they served Plank eviction papers at his southwest Oklahoma City home in August of 2022.
“I can tell you with 100% confidence that he was planning on killing any law enforcement that came to his house,” said Chief Wade Gourley with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Sgt. Bobby Swartz was killed. Deputy Mark Johns was hit twice, but survived.
“You just you never know when evil is going to pop its head up. And that’s what happened on this day,” said Deputy Johns.
While speaking out for the first time, Deputy Melody Norton said she felt Plank was after her while she dodged bullets.
“He knew I was out there,” said Deputy Norton. “We met evil that day for sure.”
Plank hopped in a truck attached to a boat, and led police on a shootout and chase that ended at Tinker Air Force Base, where he was arrested.
Defense attorneys claimed a doctor found Plank was delusional, believing his own family was in a pedophilic conspiracy with police.
The judge, prosecutors, and defense attorneys agreed to have the Department of Mental Health evaluate Plank.
The competency review is scheduled for April 3rd, but that could change.