Mental competency hearing extended for UC Berkeley student facing murder charges


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A consensus could not be reached at UC Berkeley student Pablo Gomez Jr.’s mental competency hearing Monday morning.

Two different mental health professionals were assigned to report on Gomez’s mental competence, but both replied with differing opinions. Judge Jon Rolefson determined that a third doctor will be the “tiebreaker,” according to George Arroyo, Gomez’s attorney.

Gomez, 22, was arrested Jan. 7 in connection with the Jan. 6 stabbing of Kiana Lailin Schmitt and the murder of Emilie Inman, a 27-year-old South Berkeley resident. Gomez is being charged on four felony counts — murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and first degree robbery.

On Feb. 6, Gomez’s scheduled arraignment was postponed after a scuffle broke out at the courthouse before the hearing.

About 20 people showed up for the hearing Monday in René C. Davidson Courthouse, including some of Gomez’s friends and family members. All of them, however, declined to comment on Gomez’s hearing.

The third mental competency opinion will be presented May 1 at the follow-up hearing in René C. Davidson Courthouse.

Gibson Chu is the lead crime and courts reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @thegibsonchu.