Homicide

California man arraigned on murder charge in drowning death

This undated photo released by the Healdsburg Police Department shows Gerardo Mendoza. Police in Northern California have arrested a man on suspicion of drowning his 4-year-old daughter in a baptismal pool in a Healdsburg church and then carrying her body to a nearby police station. Healdsburg police said Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, 42-year-old Gerardo Mendoza stood in the station's back parking lot Sunday night and yelled for help as he held his daughter and another child, his son, stood next to him. (Healdsburg Police Department via AP)

This undated photo released by the Healdsburg Police Department shows Gerardo Mendoza. Police in Northern California have arrested a man on suspicion of drowning his 4-year-old daughter in a baptismal pool in a Healdsburg church and then carrying her body to a nearby police station. Healdsburg police said Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, 42-year-old Gerardo Mendoza stood in the station's back parking lot Sunday night and yelled for help as he held his daughter and another child, his son, stood next to him. (Healdsburg Police Department via AP)

Authorities say a Northern California man has been charged with murder in connection with the drowning of his 4-year-old daughter in a baptismal pool at a church last weekend.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports 42-year-old Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz appeared in Sonoma County court Tuesday afternoon and was formally charged with murder and felony child abuse involving the death at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

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Judge Arthur Wick ordered a psychologist to evaluate the mental state of Ordaz after his lawyer raised doubts about the man's competency.

Ordaz is scheduled to return to court Monday where Wick will decide if he is fit for further court proceedings. Police have not released a motive in the death of Maria Jose Ordaz-Chavarria.