OAKLAND, Calif. — The murder case of a suspect accused of killing seven at a small California Christian college was suspended Monday after the suspect's lawyer questioned his mental competency to stand trial.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta on Monday ordered that two psychiatrists examine suspect One Goh after assistant public defender David Klaus told her during a brief hearing that Goh refuses to speak to him and that a mental evaluation is needed to determine if his client is fit to stand trial.
Under California law, Klaus' request immediately placed the case on hold as Panetta said the doctors will report their findings during a Nov. 19 hearing.
Goh, 43, is charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the April 2 attack at Oikos University in Oakland.
Goh has pleaded not guilty to killing the six students and receptionist that became America's deadliest school shooting rampage since the 2007 attack at Virginia Tech.
Authorities said Goh, a Korean National and a former Oikos student, planned the killing spree at the school that caters to Korean immigrants after becoming angry over a tuition dispute with school officials. He previously decided to drop out of the school's nursing program.
He also cited problems getting along with classmates and wanted the college to return about $4,000 to $6,000 in tuition payments.
Police said Goh fled the campus after the shootings in a car that belonged to one of the victims.
He was arrested in Alameda a short time later after he confessed to a supermarket security guard that he had just shot several people, authorities said.
After Monday's hearing, Klaus said that he has "doubts about the competency of Mr. Goh."
Goh, who uses a Korean interpreter in court, yelled something after Klaus expressed doubt about his competency in court, but Klaus said afterward that he didn't understand what Goh had said.
After Goh's brief outburst, Judge Panetta told him to "be quiet" and to let Klaus speak on his behalf.
Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew has previously said that Goh's preliminary hearing – which would determine if there's enough evidence for him to go to trial – would probably occur in early 2013.