Advertisement

Experts are divided on suspect's mental fitness to stand trial in Costa Mesa attempted-murder case

Experts are divided on suspect's mental fitness to stand trial in Costa Mesa attempted-murder case
Gavin Delgardo is accused of attempted murder in an Aug. 17 stabbing in Costa Mesa. (Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department)

Two experts who evaluated a Costa Mesa 19-year-old accused of attempted murder in the stabbing of a man in Costa Mesa were unable to agree on his mental competency to stand trial, the defendant’s attorney said Friday.

Two court-appointed experts — a psychologist and a psychiatrist — who evaluated Gavin Christopher Delgardo, 19, presented differing conclusions about his mental fitness during a hearing Friday in a Santa Ana courtroom, said Delgardo’s attorney Adrian Woodward.

Advertisement

“One expert opined that he was not mentally competent and the other expert opined that he was competent,” Woodward said.

Woodward, who believes his client “was incompetent at the time of the incident,” said a third expert will be ordered to evaluate Delgardo.

Advertisement

Delgardo is due back in court Jan. 17 for a continued mental competency hearing.

He pleaded not guilty Aug. 21 to attempted murder and denied two sentencing-enhancement allegations of inflicting great bodily injury and personally using a deadly weapon.

Authorities allege Delgardo stabbed a 41-year-old Costa Mesa resident who was out for a walk Aug. 17 near the Goat Hill Junction railroad on the east side of Fairview Park.

The man was found bleeding heavily from slash and stab wounds to his torso, police said.

Advertisement
Advertisement