Competency Restored, Alleged Davis Stabber Anticipates February Preliminary Hearing

By Madison Whittemore

WOODLAND, CA – A February preliminary hearing date has been set for alleged Davis stabber, Carlos Reales Dominguez, who has now been deemed mentally competent to stand a full criminal trial after spending five months at the Atascadero State Mental Hospital.

This is the first time that Dominguez has appeared in the Yolo County Superior Courtroom since July 2023, when he was declared by a court-issued doctor incompetent to stand further criminal proceedings in a five-day competency trial, due to his severe schizophrenia with catatonia.

Seated next to his defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Daniel Hutchinson, Dominguez appeared alert and engaged and fuller in the face with his hair brushed away from his eyes.

Throughout the hearing, Dominguez also expressed verbal and physical responsiveness to DPD Hutchinson, who frequently leaned over to whisper explanations to Dominguez in order to ensure his client’s understanding of the proceedings.

This appearance was significantly different from Dominguez’s past court appearances, where he sat in an apparent catatonic, frozen state for hours with his disheveled hair covering his face, not showing a “sufficient knowledge and sufficient understanding” of the court proceedings.

Dominguez, a former UC Davis student who was academically dismissed in late April 2023, is charged with two murders after brutally stabbing and killing David Breaux and Karim Abou Najm. Dominguez is also charged with one attempted murder of Kimberlee Guillory, who managed to survive the stabbing attack.

On Monday’s restoration of competency hearing, Judge Samuel McAdam officially declared Dominguez’s newly restored competency on the record, in front of a packed courtroom. Referencing section (§)1372 (a) of the California Penal Code, Judge McAdam summarized a certification of competency report written on Dec. 20 from the Department of State Hospitals.

Judge McAdam noted that although the report was authored on Dec. 20, the court received the report on Dec. 27.

Although acknowledging that the report was confidential and would not be published for the public to access, Judge McAdam asserted he understood the seriousness and public interest in the case and wanted to summarize the report “in order to indicate a factual basis and support for any legal rulings that are made in court.”

The report declared Dominguez has reached sufficient mental competency since he now has the capacity to assist his legal counsel, DPD Hutchinson, and poses a low risk of harm to himself and others.

“Carlos Dominguez has sufficient knowledge and sufficient understanding of the legal procedure and charges and his mental health disorder of schizophrenia with catatonia does not impede a meaningful conversation regarding this subject,” Judge McAdam stated, summarizing the report.

Turning to Deputy District Attorneys Matt De Moura and Frits Van Der Hoek, Judge McAdam confirmed there were no objections to Dominguez’s competency being restored, to which there were none. DPD Hutchinson submitted as well, not posing any objections to his client’s competency being restored.

“The defendant is restored to competency, criminal proceedings are hereby reinstated,” Judge McAdam announced, subsequently confirming an order for continuing the administration of involuntary medication that Dominguez has been receiving in the state hospital for his schizophrenia.

Concluding the competency hearing, a date for Dominguez’s preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 26 at 9 a.m., with the court requesting evidence only be heard in the afternoon sessions.

Dominguez will remain in custody and will continue to be held without bail because his charges are capital offenses.

About The Author

Madison Whittemore is a rising junior at the University of California, Davis where she studies political science and psychology. After completing her undergraduate studies, Madison wants to go to law school and study criminal law while working to improve efforts for prison reform and representation for lower income citizens.

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1 Comment

  1. Todd Edelman

    NOT to deflect from the horrors caused by this man… the amazing trajectories of life ended or marred abuptly, BUT what’s up with any case or investigation in how the Holy Davis Ultimate Church of Superior Unassailable Corporate-Friendly Academia handled the termination and related?

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