OAKLAND, Calif. – A man accused of killing seven people at a small Northern California Christian college is not mentally fit for trial, a judge ruled before temporarily suspending criminal proceedings until the defendant is deemed competent.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta on Monday put on hold the criminal case against One Goh. Two psychiatric evaluations concluded that Goh suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
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 jailed.
Alameda County Assistant Public Defender David Klaus said after Monday's brief hearing that both doctors who examined Goh found that he suffers from hallucinations and delusions and harbors a deep mistrust of people, including those trying to help him.
"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."
Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew declined to comment after the hearing.
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, likely Napa State Hospital, where "he is expected to be restored to competency with a combination of medication and therapy."
There was no timetable on when Goh could stand trial, Klaus said.
Relatives of some victims have suggested Goh may be faking his condition. 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."