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A jail inmate accused of attacking two nurses and a deputy is being evaluated to determine whether he’s mentally competent to stand trial.
Deputy Public Defender Jennifer Dixon told visiting Judge Richard Henderson she was “declaring a doubt” about the mental competency of 42-year-old Taume DeMarco, who was scheduled for a court appearance but refused to be brought down from the jail.
Henderson suspended criminal proceedings against DeMarco and appointed a local psychiatrist to examine him.
Fortuna police arrested DeMarco on Aug. 9 for suspected assault with a deadly weapon. On Aug. 19, as a jail nurse was giving him medication, he allegedly first attacked her and then the female deputy who quickly intervened. The Sheriff’s Department says he also assaulted a second nurse as she was on her radio requesting backup.
DeMarco was finally subdued when the deputy Tased him and other officers arrived. The inmate and all three women were treated for injuries.
A Sept. 19 hearing has been scheduled to discuss the psychiatrist’s findings. A defendant is diagnosed as mentally incompetent if it’s believed he or she is unable to understand the proceedings against them.