California bureaucracy is holding up the cases of two local murder suspects found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
This morning attorney David Celli, representing Antone Richard Aubrey IV, requested the state be held in contempt of court for failing to provide treatment for Aubrey. The 30-year-old Hoopa man has been in jail since Feb. 17, when he allegedly shot his older sister to death behind the town gas station.
Aubrey was diagnosed three months ago as mentally incompetent.
“Mr. Aubrey has been sitting in custody waiting for treatment,” Celli told Judge Dale Reinholtsen. “… It’s inhumane. He’s in desperate need of treatment.”
The problem is lack of space in state facilities that treat the mentally ill. Celli said state officials keep saying they are trying to accommodate more patients, but there has been little progress.
“This issue of increasing need for beds has been ongoing for at least five years, maybe more,” Celli said, adding that if the state’s conduct isn’t outright willful, it amounts to at least “aggravated negligence.”
“Whatever the department is doing,” he said, “it’s not working.”
Helen Geoffroy, an attorney for California’s Department of State Hospitals, was on speakerphone this morning to inform Reinholtsen about Aubrey’s current standing. Geoffroy said Aubrey is 40th on the waiting list for a treatment program in San Bernardino, and it’s expected he will be transported out of Humboldt County on or before Aug. 17.
Celli responded that making Aubrey wait that long is unreasonable and cruel.
As to the request that the state be held in contempt of court, Geoffroy asked for an evidentiary hearing before the judge makes a ruling.
“We will require three weeks to get a deputy attorney general to represent us,” she said.
Reinholtsen set the evidentiary hearing for Aug. 14. Deputy District Attorney Trent Timm, representing his office this morning, told the judge he had no comment.
Aubrey was brought down from jail for the hearing. He seemed to be listening carefully but didn’t speak.
Meanwhile the Department of State Hospitals has also put a snag in the case of Hector Godoy-Standley, another client of Celli’s. Godoy-Standley, 22, has been in custody since December 2016, after allegedly participating in a carjacking that ended with 20-year-old Tyson Eduardo Claros shot dead.
A local psychiatrist diagnosed Godoy-Standley as developmentally disabled. He was sent to Napa State Hospital for several months, then returned to Humboldt County after state doctors determined his competency was restored.
The defense is contesting the state’s finding, and a hearing on Godoy-Standley’s competence is scheduled for tomorrow before Judge Christopher Wilson. This morning, however, Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schaffer told Wilson she expects to request a continuance because the Department of State Hospitals has not responded to her subpoena for records.
Godoy-Standley is noticeably thinner and paler than when he first appeared in court more than 18 months ago. He said nothing this morning except “Morning” to Celli as he was brought into the courtroom.
Godoy-Standley is one of five defendants in the murder and carjacking case. Three defendants are scheduled to be tried separately, with the main prosecution witness being Godoy-Standley’s girlfriend Catherine Suzanne Lynn “Catie” Fode. She was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for testifying against the others.
PREVIOUSLY in AUBREY’S CASE:
- Woman Shot to Death Following Disturbance Behind Hoopa Gas Station, 30-Year-Old Man Arrested for Murder
- Hoopa Homicide Victim Identified as Suspect’s Sister
- Antone Aubrey, Hoopa Man Accused of Murdering Sister, Pleads Not Guilty
- Hoopa Murder Suspect’s Preliminary Hearing Rescheduled
- Hoopa Murder Suspect Gets New Attorney
- Hoopa Man Accused of Murdering Sister Deemed Mentally Incompetent to Stand Trial
- Hoopa Man Headed to State Mental Hospital, Will Face Murder Charges If Later Deemed Mentally Competent
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PREVIOUSLY in GODOY-STANDLEY’S CASE:
- 20-Year-Old Shot Dead in Manila Early This Morning; Victim Found Lying in the Middle of Highway 255
- This Morning’s Manila Homicide Victim ID’d by Sheriff’s Office
- More Details Emerge in Manila Murder Conspiracy as Three Suspects Appear in Court
- INVESTIGATORS: Manila Murder Conspiracy Driven By Belief That Victim Had Sexually Abused Suspects’ Daughter
- One of ‘Manila Five’ Murder Plot Suspects Deemed Mentally Incompetent, Will Not Stand Trial
- Once Suspected in Manila Murder Plot, Hector Godoy-Standley Instead Referred to Facility Serving the Developmentally Disabled
- Alleged Murder Plot Participant Stuck in Legal Limbo, as Regional Center for Developmentally Disabled Adults Declines to Serve Him
- Defendant in Manila Murder Case Has Criminal Proceedings Against Him Suspended, Will Be Committed to a State Hospital
- Defendants in 2016 Manila Murder Plot to be Tried Separately, Judge Rules
- ‘Manila Five’ Suspect Flips: Fode Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Agrees to Testify Against Former Codefendants in Roadside Murder
- Psychiatrists Deem Manila Murder Plot Suspect Competent to Stand Trial, After All; Defense Will Challenge the Finding