Murder suspect Wesley Lee Starritt, accused of killing an elderly Eureka man and brutally stabbing two other people, has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Today Judge Timothy Canning, after receiving a doctor’s report stating Starritt is incompetent, referred him to the state agency Conrep to decide where he should be placed for treatment. Normally, incompetent inmates are sent to Napa State Hospital, where they stay until doctors believe their competence has been restored.


Starritt, 22, participated in the hearing from the video conferencing room in the jail. Because he allegedly punched a jail officer in the head on June 14, his hands were shackled behind his back and he was wearing red, meaning he is segregated from the jail’s general population.

When Canning asked Starritt whether he was willing to appear on camera because of the coronavirus, Starritt responded “Yeah, I am.”

If Starritt is eventually ruled competent and is convicted of all charges, he faces either the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole. That’s because two so-called “special circumstances” have been filed along with the murder charge. First, it’s alleged he killed 84-year-old “Mitch” Clark during the commission of a felony, in this case burglary. Also, it’s alleged that Clark’s killing involved torture.

Clark was found dead in his Campton Road home on May 20. One week earlier, Starritt allegedly stabbed a 38-year-old woman multiple times, stopping only because his knife blade broke. He is charged with attempting to murder the woman, who was a stranger to him.

About a month before that attack, Starritt walked up to a 43-year-old man and began stabbing him, stopping when the knife blade broke.

In all three cases, a broken knife blade was found at the scene.

In 2018 Starritt was convicted of stabbing a 59-year-old man and served time in prison. He was released in March and allegedly committed his first stabbing just a few weeks later.

His next court date is July 14.