A San Diego judge has ruled that a man charged with carrying out a string of deadly attacks on sleeping homeless men that terrorized the city last summer is mentally incompetent and cannot stand trial for now.
After reviewing two doctor’s reports, Judge Margie Woods ruled Wednesday that Jon David Guerrero should be involuntarily medicated in an attempt to restore his competency so he can eventually be tried for murder, KUSI-TV reported.
Deputy Public Defender Dan Tandon, who is on the legal team representing Guerrero, said the defendant has suffered from severe mental illness for many years.
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Guerrero, 40, faces four murder charges, three attempted or premeditated murder charges, two arson charges and five assault charges in attacks on several homeless people and other San Diego residents.
The men were set afire or had railroad spikes driven into their bodies.
Among those killed was an 83-year-old woman who was not homeless as she walked to a YMCA where she volunteered. She was beaten to death near a bus stop, authorities have said.
Court records show Guerrero has been diagnosed in the past with schizophrenia. He has a history of arrests and mental competency hearings, including orders to be sent to a state hospital for treatment.
Guerrero could face life in prison if he eventually stands trial and is convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.