James Dalton, the Palo Alto man accused of killing his brother July 16, appeared in Santa Clara County Superior Court today but did not enter a plea.
Instead, his attorneys asked for a continuance and the prosecution agreed.
Dalton will next appear in court Aug. 21 and may enter a plea at that time. He is being held without bail.
Dalton is being represented by co-counsels Andrea Ambrosio and Ken Nordine.
Deputy District Attorney James Gibbons-Shapiro said after the brief court hearing that Dalton's attorneys have not told him if they will seek a competency hearing as part of Dalton's defense. Dalton was found insane by a judge in 1999 and sentenced to the state mental health hospital at Atascadero for a maximum of three years.
Gibbons-Shapiro said that competency rulings "are not for all time" so the previous finding in 1999 is "not binding" in this case.
Dalton is accused of stabbing his brother to death with a kitchen knife. Both James Dalton, 52, and his brother, John Dalton, 53, had lived with their mother in south Palo Alto.
Dalton has been arrested nine times, including one time for having sexual intercourse with an 85-year-old woman who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He was convicted of sexual battery because the woman was unable to testify in court.
Dalton entered the courtroom dressed in orange and red jail clothing with a brown pullover shirt. His hands were manacled to a chain around his waist, and his long, curly hair and beard were untrimmed.
But he appeared alert and responsive while conferring with his attorneys in a corner of the Palo Alto courtroom, at one time smiling and even giving a short laugh.