A jury will decide whether accused spree killer Kori Muhammad is mentally competent to stand trial. The trial will begin Oct. 13.
The prosecution asked for the trial Tuesday after Muhammad’s lawyer and the Fresno County District Attorney’s office could not agree on Muhammad’s mental state. Two court-appointed doctors ruled him unfit, while a psychologist hired by the prosecution deemed him able to stand trial.
As he has at previous hearings, Muhammad yelled “let black people go and reparations,” “Allahu Akbar” and a few other inaudible comments as Judge Brian Alvarez attempted to close Tuesday’s hearing.
In June, Muhammad was found unfit to stand trial by court-appointed psychologist Richard Kendall. The details of Kendall’s report are confidential. Muhammad’s lawyer, Richard Beshwate Jr., said his client has a documented history of schizophrenia and has been taking medication while in jail.
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After Kendall’s finding, the prosecution asked for a second opinion. Howard Terrell, a psychiatrist, was appointed by the court to examine Muhammad. Terrell also found Muhammad mentally unfit to stand trial.
However, the prosecution hired psychologist Reid Meloy to examine Muhammad, and Meloy found him mentally competent.
The 2-1 score would normally mean Muhammad would be sent to a state hospital for treatment. Instead, the prosecution asked Tuesday for a trial.
Muhammad was arrested April 18 after he allegedly went on a shooting spree near downtown Fresno that left three men dead: Mark Gassett, David Jackson and Zackary Randalls. Muhammad also faces attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting at Stephen Walter, Michael Flores and Mark Greer during the spree. He also is charged with the murder of Motel 6 security guard Carl Allen Williams III, who was shot while working April 13.
Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said Muhammad confessed to the spree and to Williams’ murder. He added that Muhammad told police he decided to “kill as many people as he could” once he learned authorities were hunting him for Williams’ murder.