Mental competency trial set for man charged in railroad spike homeless killings

Posted at 5:09 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 20:09:00-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Nov. 13 mental competency trial was set Wednesday for a man accused of attacking mostly homeless men in San Diego neighborhoods in 2016, resulting in four deaths.

Jon David Guerrero, 41, is charged with four counts of murder, including a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders that could lead to the death penalty if he's convicted.

After reviewing two doctor's reports, Judge Margie Woods ruled in July of last year that Guerrero was not mentally competent to stand trial and ordered that he be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment.

In April of this year, Guerrero was deemed mentally competent.

Guerrero, who was not at Wednesday morning's hearing, will challenge the finding of competency at trial, said Deputy Public Defender Dan Tandon.

According to prosecutors, Guerrero's crime spree began on Feb. 8, 2016, when the defendant allegedly stabbed a man who was sleeping on a sidewalk.

Other attacks happened on June 28, July 3, July 4, July 6 and July 13, Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said.

Guerrero was arrested in the early morning hours of July 15, 2016, after police found a 55-year-old man in the East Viillage suffering from "significant trauma" to his upper body. Guerrero -- who was on a bicycle -- had a backpack containing a large mallet with apparent blood stains along with three railroad spikes, Harvey said.

A status conference was set for Oct. 23.