January 8, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. — A judge ruled on Monday that a man accused of killing seven people at a small Northern California Christian college is not mentally fit for trial.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta temporarily suspended the case against One Goh after two psychiatric evaluations reached the conclusion that Goh suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
An initial psychiatric evaluation found that Goh has had the disorder for several years.
Alameda County Assistant Public Defender David Klaus said after Monday’s brief hearing that both doctors who examined Goh had similar experiences. Goh’s condition causes him to have hallucinations and delusions and distrust people, including those trying to help him, Klaus said.
“He’s certainly a deeply troubled man,” Klaus said. “He’s locked up in shame, remorse and sadness. He’s not eating, he’s not taking care of himself.”
Klaus said he and his co-counsel have trouble talking with their client because of his mental state.
Goh is charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the April 2 attack at Oikos University in Oakland.
He has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail.
Authorities have said Goh, a former Oikos student, planned the killing spree at the school that caters to Korean immigrants after becoming angry with school officials over a tuition dispute. He previously decided to drop out of the school’s nursing program.
Panetta ordered Goh to return to court on Jan. 28, when Klaus said discussions will likely focus on where his client should be placed in order to regain his competency.
Eventually, Klaus said, the plan would be for Goh to go to a facility where “he is expected to be restored to competency with a combination of medication and therapy.”
Klaus said that facility would likely be Napa State Hospital in Napa County.
Victims’ family members, including Efanye Chibuko, have suggested Goh may be faking his condition.
In November, Chibuko, whose wife Doris was one of the seven killed, said he believed that Goh was acting and playing the legal system.
Klaus said his client is not trying to avoid anything.
“I just want to make sure it’s understood that this is a temporary suspension of proceedings in this case,” Klaus said. “This is really about his present mental status and the Constitution demands he be competent and be able to understand and rationally participate in the proceedings.
“And, right now, he can’t do that.”
After Monday’s hearing, Chibuko dashed out of the courtroom into a waiting elevator and declined to comment to a reporter.
There is no timetable on when Goh could stand trial, Klaus said.
Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew, who is seeking murder charges against Goh, declined to comment after Monday’s hearing.