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North Kona standoff suspect deemed fit for trial

A Kailua-Kona man in custody at the Hawaii State Hospital since a six-hour standoff with police last October has been found fit to stand trial and scheduled for a trial date in March 2021.

Richard Denis Gorloff, whose alleged threats triggered the standoff in Kalaoa on Oct. 10, 2019, was ordered to undergo a psychological review during a hearing regarding his fitness to proceed with the case.

Gorloff was indicted Nov. 6, 2019, by a Kona grand jury on three counts of first-degree terroristic threatening and one count each of second-degree terroristic threatening and violation of an order for protection in connection with the alleged incident Oct. 10, 2019.

In February, Deputy Public Defender Ann Datta requested Gorloff receive a neuro-psychological exam. After delays in getting the report from that exam, a contested hearing was held in July because the three doctors who performed the initial evaluation did not receive a copy of the neuro-psych exam, which the defense argued could sway their decision regarding fitness.

On Sept. 24, after receiving updated evaluations from the doctors, Judge Wendy DeWeese declared Gorloff fit to proceed.

He will be released from the Hawaii State Hospital and transferred to Hawaii Community Correctional Center to stand trial for that case on March 23.

According to court records, Gorloff at the time of the October incident was free on bail in connection with a July reckless endangering case that involved firearms.

Gorloff, according to the complaint that alleges criminal property damage and firearms and protective order violations, intentionally fired a firearm recklessly placing a minor in danger of death of serious bodily injury and damaged a pickup truck and/or window “by means other than fire” on July 3, 2019.

He was deemed unfit to proceed in the July case in December; however, a review in August by a panel of three doctors deemed him fit to proceed. Judge Robert D.S. Kim set a Dec. 1 trial date.

He was taken into custody following a nearly six-hour standoff that ensued after police were sent to his Ahulani Street home after receiving a report from the man’s ex-wife that he’d threatened to kill her.

Gorloff refused to exit his residence and reportedly told officers that if they came any closer, he would blow up the residence.

Neighboring homes were evacuated and the Hawaii Police Department’s Special Response and Crisis Negotiation teams were deployed.

Gorloff surrendered without incident about six hours later and was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of an undisclosed condition.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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