COURT WATCH: Yolo County Accused Murderer Declared Incompetent; Judge Sets Competency Jury Trial for July 24

By Julie McCaffrey

WOODLAND, CA – In a competency hearing Tuesday in Yolo County Superior Court, Judge Sam McAdam read the competency report written by a doctor, who concluded the man charged with two Yolo County stabbing murders and an attempted murder is not competent.

Judge McAdam set the jury trial to determine competency for July 24.

After he was declared not competent, the accused spoke in open court, stating he “would like to apologize,” and then said, “I’m guilty.”

Judge McAdam reminded Carlos Dominguez of his right to remain silent, and as the criminal matters against him are suspended, nothing he says can be used against him.

Deputy Public Defender Dan Hutchinson took aside his client to speak to him privately, then they both returned to their seats. Dominguez remained silent for the rest of the hearing.

Deputy District Attorney Matt De Moura requested the jury trial to determine competency be set on July 24. Hutchinson objected, and clarified that “the defense is not requesting a jury trial.”

He added that “it is extremely unusual to request jury trials in 1368 proceedings,” referring to section 1368 of the California Penal Code, which discusses protocol regarding the accused’s competency.

Hutchinson continued, saying “in the 17 years I’ve been in this county, I can only recall one (1368 case) going to trial.” He then requested a court trial in lieu of the jury trial, adding, “until the issue of competency is resolved, (Dominguez)] can’t even get on a waiting list for the state hospital.”

He then agreed that if the prosecution is insisting on a jury trial, July 24 would be the earliest date.

Judge McAdam disagreed with the DPD, stating that the People have a right to a jury trial, thinking “expediting it is prudent.” De Moura estimated the jury trial will take three days.

Judge McAdam then addressed several subpoenas filed by the prosecution, including requests for medical information regarding the three victims and the accused. The judge produced the records in question to the prosecution, and issued protective orders limiting their use to that of the attorneys and any experts in this case.

Hutchinson objected to some of the accused’s records being produced, but was overruled.

Judge McAdam said all the medical records in the competency proceedings are subject to confidentiality, and noted this would have to be balanced with the public nature of the proceeding and jury trial.

He then stated for the attorneys to return July 12 for a case management conference, July 19 for a trial readiness conference, and finally July 24 for the jury trial.

About The Author

Julie is a third year at UC Davis majoring in Communications and Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She hopes to advocate for women's reproductive rights and make the justice system fairer for sexual assault survivors.

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  1. Matt Williams

    Stating that the People have a right to a jury trial


    I find this bewildering.  What advantage or disadvantage is there to a jury trial vs. a court trial on this competency issue?

    1. David Greenwald

      One theory is that the DA wants to get access to mental health discovery they otherwise wouldn’t have.

      Theoretically, the advantage for the DA would be the emotional charge of the case when put into the hands of the jury would tilt things toward their advantage.

      The disadvantage for the defense is that you want a judge to make a determination on complicated medical and psychiatric findings.

      1. Matt Williams

        I guess I don’t understand the “advantage” concept.  Are you saying that the People don’t want him to go to a mental hospital?  If that is the case, where do the People want him to go?

        1. David Greenwald

          You can see my commentary on this as well, but yeah, I’m puzzled by why they wouldn’t want him to regain his competence before standing trial for murder.

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