Man accused of shooting O.C. doctor says he can’t afford lawyer


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A retired barber accused of killing a Newport Beach urologist during a medical appointment appeared in court Wednesday but his arraignment on murder charges was postponed after he announced that he could not afford an attorney.

Standwood Fred Elkus, 75, appeared in court with his hands in the pockets of his orange jumpsuit. He seemed dazed and spoke loudly when he requested a public defender.


Elkus is accused of killing Dr. Ronald Gilbert, 52, on Monday afternoon during a scheduled appointment at Orange Coast Urology, prosecutors said. Wednesday would have marked the doctor’s 53rd birthday.

The Lake Elsinore man faces one count of special circumstances murder for lying in wait and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm causing death, prosecutors said. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Elkus told Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Robison he couldn’t afford a lawyer. His arraignment was continued to March 1.

Prosecutors on Wednesday revealed that other doctors ran to Gilbert’s aid after the shooting, but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

After the shooting, Elkus turned over a handgun to a staff member in the medical office, and surrendered to police without incident, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Elkus is being held without bail.


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--Lauren Williams, Daily Pilot