For the second time since his arrest in April, criminal proceedings have been suspended against alleged murderer Austin Michael Medeiros.
This morning Judge Kaleb Cockrum agreed to a defense request to suspend proceedings again and appoint a second doctor to evaluate Medeiros. He is charged with murdering Emily Lobba, a 28-year-old disabled woman who was found dead April 3 in her home on Greenwood Heights.
Medeiros, 28, underwent competency training and was declared competent by the state’s Department of Hospitals. His attorney does not agree.
“I don’t share that opinion,” Deputy Conflict Counsel Owen Tipps told Cockrum this morning. Tipps said Medeiros continues to suffer from delusions, despite the competency training and being forced to take anti-psychotic medication. He has been in custody for about six months.
Deputy District Attorney Candace Myers didn’t object to another evaluation, saying “I don’t want to set up an issue for appeal.”
Dr. Jennifer Wilson conducted the first exam of Medeiros and found him to be mentally incompetent, meaning he is unable to assist his attorney in his own defense. Tipps wanted Wilson appointed again, but Cockrum chose Dr. Michael Morris, a clinical psychologist in Eureka.
Morris’s report is expected to be ready on Nov. 15, the date scheduled for the next hearing.
Medeiros was dressed in red, meaning he is segregated from the general population at Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Shortly after his arrest, Medeiros allegedly attacked a correctional officer with an improvised weapon.
Carol Medeiros, a relative of Austin’s, watched the proceedings via Zoom but did not turn off the audio at her end, meaning she could be heard in the courtroom. Finally the judge kicked her out.
“I’m going to excuse you, Ms. Medeiros,” Cockrum said. “This is the third time you’ve broken in.”
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