Walla Walla axe killing suspect to receive mental health evaluation

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Murder suspect Colby Hedman was granted a mental health evaluation Monday after police say he killed a Whitman College employee with an axe, then fled in the victim’s car on July 9.

Hedman, 23, was arrested in Baker City, Oregon several hours after he allegedly killed Kyle Martz at the victim’s home on the 300 block of Fourth Avenue in Walla Walla. Martz was a student advisor at Whitman College.

According to court documents, police found Martz’ dismembered body in a cooler at the home. They also found an axe, a shovel and a hammer coated with blood.

Hedman’s defense previously filed a motion to order a mental health evaluation by Eastern State Hospital, which the judge approved. The defendant won’t enter a plea or be given a trial date until the evaluation is completed.

If Hedman is deemed competent to stand trial, the defense has the right to ask for a second opinion.

The evaluation will begin in Walla Walla. If further evaluation is necessary, Hedman will be transported to Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake to be assessed.

Hedman is facing charges of first-degree murder and theft of a motor vehicle.