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Expert finds California serial stabbing suspect mentally unfit, jury to decide competency

Carlos Dominguez UC DAVIS STABBER
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jun 20, 2023

WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) — A California jury will determine the mental competency of a former university student charged in the stabbing deaths of two people and attempted murder of a third, all violent attacks that rocked the usually placid college town of Davis.

A medical expert ordered by the court to review the mental state of Carlos Dominguez, 21, found that he is not competent to stand trial, a Yolo County Superior Court judge said Tuesday. A jury will decide July 24, he said.

Dominguez interrupted the hearing to say that he wanted to apologize. “I want to say I'm guilty,” he said, sitting beside his court-appointed deputy public defender, Dan Hutchinson.

At a previous hearing in May, Dominguez said he did not want a lawyer.

The stabbings shook the University of California, Davis campus and the broader community. Businesses closed early and students feared to step outside their homes, even for daytime classes.

Dominguez had been a third-year student majoring in biological sciences until April 25, when the university let him go for academic reasons. He was arrested near the location of his second alleged attack, wearing the clothes from the alleged third attack, making it easy for bystanders to identify him.

Police did not disclose a motive for the stabbings and it was unclear if Dominguez knew the victims. Those killed were a 50-year-old homeless man well-loved in the community and a 20-year-old UC Davis student. A homeless woman attacked in her tent is alive.