Richard Delp is a homeless Washington man who had meth and animal cruelty charges against him dropped after a mental evaluation determined that he was incompetent to stand trial, KXLY reported.
Delp, 35, was arrested last September after a woman reported that he sexually assaulted a dying beaver she had found on the side of a road.
Delp was charged with animal cruelty and possession of methamphetamine.
All of the charges were dropped after a mental evaluation determined Delp was not competent to stand trial and was not likely to have his competency restored through treatment.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Whitney Nycole Was Trying to Help Dying Beaver When She Found Delp Assaulting It
In September, a Washington woman named Whitney Nycole appealed for help on Facebook after she found an injured beaver on the side of the road.
“Someone help me save this beaver,” she wrote. “Some dick head ran him over. I flipped him over so he would walk but his leg is broken. I got him on to a towel that i had in my car and dragged him on it til i got him closer to the pond and out of the way of traffic. Poor guy ): Ive called every number in tri cities. Still nothing.”
In a comment posted shortly after, Nycole wrote, “Hes deceased. I caught a homeless man having sex with the beaver. Im traumatized!!”
Nycole wrote that the man “admitted to sticking his fingers in it.”
“I left him for 30 to 40 min,” she wrote. “he was BREATHING. Came back to load him up cause i had a bad feeling and i didnt think the predator was a human.”
“I walked up to him doing stuff to that beaver. I witnessed it with my own eyes,” she added.
2. Delp Admitted to Assaulting Animal
Kennewick Police Sgt. Aaron Clem told The Tri-City Herald that Nycole found Delp lying next to the beaver after she returned to put it into a box and bring it to a veterinarian.
She first thought he was comforting the animal, Clem said, but then realized he was partially clothed.
The woman asked what he was doing and said Delp replied, “It’s just a beaver,” the Tri-City Herald reported.
3. Delp Was Charged With Animal Cruelty & Meth Possession
Police said the beaver was likely still alive at the time of the incident but had died by the time police arrived.
Delp was gone as well but police were able to locate him in another area of the park.
Delp admitted to sexually assaulting the beaver to police. Officers found a loaded syringe with meth during the arrest.
Delp was charged with animal cruelty and methamphetamine possession.
4. A Mental Evaluation Determined Delp Wasn’t Competent to Stand Trial
On Thursday, Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake submitted a mental evaluation of Delp that his attorney had requested in court, KXLY reported.
Benton County Prosecutor Craig Swenson confirmed that the evaluation determined that Delp, who was listed as homeless, was not competent to stand trial and was unlikely to be restored to competency through treatment.
Delp tried to plead guilty at an earlier court hearing but was advised that he should see a public defender first.
5. The Charges Were Dropped, but Delp Remains Hospitalized
Prosecutors dropped the charges against Delp after the mental evaluation findings were confirmed.
“Because of these facts the State is dismissing our charges without prejudice against Mr. Delp and authorizing Eastern State Hospital to evaluate him for civil commitment,” Swenson said.
Swenson said that Delp will remain at the hospital until it determines that he does not suffer from a mental disorder and is not likely to commit another similar crime.