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Ex-college student charged in California stabbings to get psychiatric exam

Carlos Dominguez
Posted at 1:10 PM, May 22, 2023

WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) — A judge on Monday ordered a psychiatric review of the former University of California, Davis student charged with two fatal stabbings and an attempted murder that shook the normally serene community outside Sacramento.

An attorney for Carlos Dominguez said in Yolo County Superior Court that his client is not mentally competent to stand trial.

Dominguez, 21, sat next to his court-appointed public defender and tried to speak several times during the short proceeding, The Sacramento Bee reported. Before he left, Dominguez said he did not want an attorney.

Relatives of the second victim, Karim Abou Najm, a 20-year-old UC Davis student, attended the hearing, some wearing T-shirts with the young man’s image.

Police have not disclosed a motive for the stabbings, which took place over a span of days and rattled the community. Students stayed at home or ventured out in pairs, and some businesses closed early.

Dominguez had been a third-year student majoring in biological sciences until April 25, when the university let him go for academic reasons.

The body of the first victim, a 50-year-old homeless man well known in the community as the “Compassion Guy,” was discovered on April 27. Abou Najm was killed on April 29 as he walked through Sycamore Park. A homeless woman survived being attacked in her tent.

Dominguez was caught by police after more than a dozen people reported seeing him in the neighborhood where the second victim was killed, wearing clothes recognizable from the third stabbing.

A competency hearing is scheduled for late June.