An Auberry man charged with stabbing another man to death was found Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court to be mentally competent to stand trial, and criminal proceedings against him were reinstated.
Jeremy DeHart, 23, was charged with the death of Peter Millard, 34, who was found stabbed to death in the backyard of a home in April 2013. Millard had reportedly made a comment to DeHart about a family friend, and DeHart allegedly stabbed him numerous times.
Defense attorney Eric Green said in the course of representing DeHart, he felt DeHart’s sanity was in question.
“The more I represented him, the more I realized his mental health had deteriorated, so I did a 1368,” Green said, referring to the proceeding that leads to the suspension of criminal proceedings against a defendant. Doctors are then appointed to examine the defendant to determine competency.
In October 2015, the court found DeHart not competent to stand trial.
DeHart was at Atascadero State Hospital for over six months, Green said. “He went through all the counseling, was placed on medication – that type of stuff.”
In the report submitted to the court, physician David Fennell determined DeHart’s sanity was restored. Judge Alvin Harrell reinstated a murder charge against DeHart; a settlement conference is scheduled for July 21 to determine a trial date.