Suspect in slaying of handyman agrees to psychiatric evaluation

After months of delays, a homeless man accused of killing a 54-year-old Costa Mesa resident has agreed to talk to court-appointed psychologists who will evaluate whether he's fit to stand trial, according to his lawyer.

Christopher Leovy, 34, is accused of bludgeoning a handyman to death in the driveway of a Costa Mesa home on Hamilton Street in September.

Leovy pleaded not guilty to a murder charge later that month, but the trial has been on hold since his lawyer said Leovy was suffering from hallucinations and possibly paranoid schizophrenia.

Court officials twice appointed psychologists to examine Leovy, and twice he refused to see them.

That won't happen again, according to his lawyer.

"Now he's agreed to talk to the [psychologists]," attorney Joel Tamraz said after conferring with Leovy, who has grown a full scraggly beard while behind bars.

Commissioner Christopher J. Evans reappointed the doctors to interview Leovy and submit their reports before an August hearing.

Leovy is also charged with felony battery on a police officer connected to his arrest.

Police previously said they believe Leovy — who is originally from Los Angeles — was staying at a sober-living home in Costa Mesa before becoming homeless.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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