UC Berkeley student facing murder charges deemed mentally competent to stand trial

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A third mental health professional deemed UC Berkeley student Pablo Gomez Jr., 22, mentally competent during a Monday morning hearing at the René C. Davidson Courthouse.

Dr. Amy Watt, who conducted a tie-breaking competency test after two previous mental health professionals offered differing opinions during an earlier March 20 hearing, concluded that Gomez was mentally competent to stand trial.

After Judge Jon Rolefson read Watt’s findings, Rolefson reinstated criminal proceedings and set a pretrial hearing date for Gomez’s case May 18.

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

Gomez’s arraignment was originally scheduled Feb. 6, but was postponed after an altercation broke out at the courthouse prior to the hearing.

Rolefson said Gomez was in the courthouse building during the hearing, but Gomez was not present in the courtroom while Rolefson offered his remarks.

The hearing was delayed by approximately 90 minutes because of an earlier May Day protest across the street in Oakland. Gomez’s hearing lasted less than five minutes.

“Most deputy sheriffs are across the street dealing with a protest, so court is moving a little slower,” Rolefson said at the hearing.

Contact Ella Jensen at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ellajensen_dc.