Son accused of killing mother in court

Bryan Chang charged with murder, mutilating mother

SAN DIEGO - Testimony got under way Tuesday in a preliminary hearing to determine whether a man accused of killing his mother and mutilating her body in her Solana Beach home nearly three years ago will be ordered to stand trial.

Bryan Chang, 30, is charged with murder and special circumstance allegations of torture and murder for financial gain in the Jan. 25, 2010, death of Sherry Chu Chang.

Her body was found at the home on Santa Florencia, near San Elijo Lagoon, after she didn't show up for work. Her son was arrested at his home in Los Angeles two nights later.

Last March, Chang was found incompetent to stand trial and was sent to Patton State Hospital for treatment. But after a hearing in late August, Superior Court Judge Frederick Maguire found that Chang understands the charges against him and can assist his attorney at trial.

Chang had been evaluated by doctors in San Diego twice before, once with a finding of incompetence and then competence.

Prosecutor Rachel Solov alleged the defendant cut off his mother's right arm and part of her skull and put them in a refrigerator. Claw hammers may have been used in the killing, according to authorities.

According to Solov, the two may have had a disagreement over money, and it was bloody fingerprints on blinds in the victim's home that led authorities to her son.

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