Nampa man indicted on murder, kidnapping charges after Oregon stabbing, crash

Anthony Montwheeler
Anthony Montwheeler Oregon State Police

The Nampa man accused of abducting and stabbing his ex-wife, and then causing a fatal crash in eastern Oregon, was indicted by a Malheur County grand jury Thursday. He could face life in prison or death if convicted of aggravated murder, Malheur County Prosecutor David Goldthorpe said.

Anthony Montwheeler, 49, remains hospitalized in Boise. But once he’s released, he would be extradited to Oregon and tried on felony charges of aggravated murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault, Goldthorpe said.

He is charged with kidapping and killing Annita Harmon, who divorced him in 2015; killing the driver of the SUV his pickup slammed into on Oregon 201; and seriously injuring the passenger of that SUV.

Jessica Bates was listed in good condition at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise on Thursday, three days after the crash that killed her husband, David Bates. The couple, who live in Vale and both reportedly work at Saint Al’s in Ontario, were driving north toward Ontario about 7 a.m. Monday morning when Montwheeler’s southbound truck crossed the center line and hit them, Oregon State Police said.

Witnesses told police they saw Montwheeler stabbing a woman in the pickup truck at an Ontario convenience store about 10 minutes earlier. He was fleeing from pursuing police officers when the fatal crash happened, OSP reported.

Officials have not yet said whether Harmon died of stab wounds or of injuries suffered in the crash.

Information on Montwheeler’s injuries and condition has not been publicly released.

The grand jury indictment includes charges of both aggravated murder and murder in the deaths of both Harmon and David Bates, Goldthorpe said, allowing a future jury to determine which charges best fit. Aggravated murder is punishable by up to life without parole or the death penalty; murder carries a sentence of 25 years in prison.

Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447