Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Accused OC mass shooter found unable to stand trial; case postponed indefinitely

The man charged with the Orange County massacre earlier this year will not stand trial after a judge ruled that a gunshot wound to the head made it impossible for him to assist in his defense.

The case against 45-year-old Aminadaba Gaxiola Gonzalez will be suspended indefinitely while he receives medical attention to see if his condition improves enough to continue the trial.

Court records show that following a mental competency hearing on Friday, Gonzalez was returned to Orange County Sheriff’s custody without bail.

“Every medical examiner who assessed the accused concluded that he was incompetent to assist his lawyers in his defense because of the shortcomings he received from the gunshot wound inflicted by the responding police that stopped his massacre,” the statement said. Kimberly. Edds, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Attorney’s Office.

Gonzalez will now be examined by medical professionals who will help the court determine his future placement and develop a treatment plan, Edds said.

“He will continue to be in the isolation ward,” she said. “His lawyers will return to court on December 1 to discuss the report with the prosecution and the judge.”

Edds said the district attorney will have an expert to conduct regular competency assessments.

Gonzalez was charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, all serious crimes, and several enhancements and special circumstances of multiple murders.

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The mass shooting took place on March 31 at Unified Homes, a home and real estate company in Orange.

Authorities alleged that Gonzalez drove a rental car to a commercial building and then used bicycle cable locks to close the front and rear entrances, trapping victims inside the complex before firing.

The officers arrived at about 5:30 pm on the scene at Block 200 Lincoln Avenue, minutes after receiving reports of the shooting. They encountered firearms and fired through the locked gate, injuring an armed man before using a bolt cutter to enter the complex.

The victims were 28-year-old Genevieve Raigosa; Louis Tovar, 50; Matthew Farias, 9 years old; and Leticia Solis Guzman, 58 years old.

Blanca Tamayo, the lone survivor, was wounded twice in the head and once in the arm. She lost two children that night, Raigosa and Farias.

In court, Supreme Court Justice Cherie Pham told family members of the victims that Gonzalez’s incapacity forced her to drop the trial.

Defendants with mental health problems are usually involved in competency proceedings. In Gonzalez’s case, his limitations were caused by physical injuries.

He has been compared to a stroke patient who has lost the ability to communicate effectively.

The City News Service contributed to this report.

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