Lawyer: Accused Oakland School Shooter Mentally Incompetent
OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A psychiatrist has concluded that the man accused of killing seven people in a shooting rampage at Oakland’s Oikos University earlier this year is incompetent to stand trial, the man’s attorney said Monday.
The psychiatrist, whose report was discussed at a brief court hearing Monday, found that One Goh, 43, “has long-standing paranoid schizophrenia” and is unable to cooperate with his lawyers because he doesn’t understand the criminal justice system, defense attorney David Klaus said.
However, a second court-appointed psychiatrist hasn’t yet completed his report on Goh, so a hearing on whether criminal proceedings against him should remain suspended was postponed until Jan. 7.
Goh, a Korean national who lived in Oakland, is being held without bail on seven counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting three victims who survived and 10 special-circumstance allegations, including committing murder during a carjacking.
Police said that Goh fled the campus after the April 2 shootings in a car belonging to one of the victims.
He was arrested in Alameda a short time later after he confessed to a Safeway security guard that he had just shot several people, according to police.
Goh is a former student who had left the school voluntarily. Prosecutors have said he appears to have wanted a refund of his tuition, and may have been targeting an administrator who was not present the day of the shooting.
According to a probable cause statement filed in court by Oakland police Officer Robert Trevino, Goh has admitted that he carried out the shootings.
Those killed were students Lydia Sim, 21, Sonam Choedon, 33, Grace Kim, 23, Doris Chibuko, 40, Judith Seymour, 53, and Tshering Bhutia, 38, and Katleen Ping, 24, who worked at the school.
In addition to the murder and attempted murder charges, Goh faces 10 special circumstance allegations that could result in the death penalty if he’s convicted.
Seven of those allegations are for committing multiple murders and one each are for committing a murder during a robbery, murder during a carjacking and murder during a kidnapping.
Goh had been scheduled to have a preliminary hearing early next year on the charges against him, but on Oct. 1 Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta suspended criminal proceedings against him and ordered that psychiatric examinations be conducted after Klaus questioned Goh’s mental competency to stand trial.
After Monday’s hearing, Klaus said the psychiatrist who completed her report on Goh found that he’s had paranoid schizophrenia for up to 15 years.
Klaus said Goh is troubled by “his religious beliefs and the battle between God and Satan and his role in that battle.”
The defense lawyer said he believes that Goh “is severely mentally ill” and his mental illness was the catalyst in the shooting, which he described as “a terrible tragedy.”
But Efanye Chibuko, 42, the husband of Doris Chibuko, one of the victims, said he believes Goh “is acting” and “is playing the legal system.”
Chibuko, who attended Monday’s hearing along with other family members of the victims, said he thinks Goh had to be mentally competent to plan the shooting, drive away from the scene and dispose of the gun that he allegedly used.
Goh appears to have lost weight since he was arrested in April. Klaus said Goh didn’t eat for the first three weeks he was in custody and doesn’t eat much now.
Goh is isolated in his own cell for 23 hours a day for his own protection and “is in pretty bad shape” because he feels depressed and ashamed, Klaus said.
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