Doctors: Accused David Lewis killer not competent to stand trial

Court to consider fitness to stand trial, possible commitment to a mental hospital

The accused killer of East Palo Alto community activist David Lewis is not competent to stand trial, according to two court-appointed doctors. Attorneys have also asked to transfer Gregory Leon Elarms Sr. to a state hospital for involuntary medication, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office said Thursday (May 26).

Elarms, 58, is accused of lying in wait and shooting Lewis during a confrontation in a parking garage at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo.

But Elarms' behavior during a Feb. 18 hearing called his competency into question after he acted out loudly during a court appearance to set his preliminary examination.

Defense Attorney Jeff Boyarsky told the court in February he doubted Elarms' competency. Elarms also wants to testify at the court trial, the DA's office said.

On April 13, two court-appointed doctors told San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak they were divided on Elarm's competency. But a third doctor appointed by Novak as the tie breaker has concluded he is not competent, according to the district attorney's office.

On Wednesday (May 25), after receiving the third report, Novak scheduled a competency hearing for June 23. She will also consider a possible order to involuntarily medicate Elarms at a state hospital. Elarms is currently being held without bail in county jail in Redwood City.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Can't people just act crazy to get out of a prison sentence?

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