Man accused of trying to sacrifice child at cemetery found mentally competent to stand trial

COMMENTARY BY SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL ATTORNEY SAM SPITAL:

“KFMB Channel 8, CBS News on November 7, 2012 reported the father of three children, ages 18 months, 3 and 8 years old, has been determined mentally competent and, therefore criminal court proceedings were reinstated after he was arrested e

arlier in the year for attempted murder and felony child abuse and was accused of trying to sacrifice them at a grave site of another family member, after having everyone drink sangria and eat energy bars, and being heard saying ‘The Last Supper, they’re my kids. They’re going to Jesus.’Certainly this is a bizarre incident and one that lacks understanding or explanation. The Deputy Public Defense allegedly had no comments or they simply were not included in the article by the reporter. It is conceivable she will claim insanity as a defense, which is not inconsistent with the court’s determination the defendant is competent to stand trial, meaning he can understand the charges and assist his attorney in the defense, but he either did not know what he was doing was wrong or was unable to understand the nature and quality of his act when he committed the offense. If there is an acquittal by reason of insanity, the defendant is not released from custody but he is committed to one of the California Mental Institutions, which can even be for a longer period of time than he would have received had he been found guilty of the crime charged.”SAM SPITAL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

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