The attorney for Greg Jennings, 50, told San Diego Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom he was not sure Jennings was mentally competent to understand court proceedings.
A psychologist was appointed to evaluate Jennings in jail and file a report before March 28 when Jennings will appear before another judge in a mental competency hearing.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly said the victim is still not being identified as relatives have not been notified. The medical examiner’s office has not issued an official cause of death pending notification of his family.
If a judge finds Jennings to be mentally incompetent, he would be sent to a state psychiatric hospital for treatment and returned here to face criminal proceedings. The Feb. 22 preliminary hearing was canceled.
Reilly said he did not know if Jennings knew the victim, but they had been arguing around 6:20 p.m. on Jan. 8 near a bus stop on Midway Drive near West Point Loma Boulevard.
The sledgehammer was small, weighing 64 ounces, but the victim was struck multiple times before he collapsed.
Jennings is behind held on $2 million bail. He has pleaded not guilty.