Guerrero, 39, dressed in blue jail clothing, said nothing after San Diego Superior Court Judge Steven Stone ordered the commitment to last up to three years, but he can return to court sooner if doctors and a judge find he has regained his mental competence.
Stone ordered that psychiatric medications be administered to Guerrero involuntarily at Patton State Hospital as he was unable to make an informed decision about taking them. Criminal proceedings are suspended.
Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey told Stone that Guerrero was uncooperative with a doctor in jail and he would not give him much information for his report.
Guerrero’s attorney, Dan Tandon, said the doctor reviewed Guerrero’s “extensive mental health history" to help him make a decision about his mental competence.
“The court did what he did based on the (psychiatric) report,” said Harvey afterwards.
Stone noted it had been 99 days since Guerrero was arrested and charged with three murders and two attempted murders in attacks upon homeless men while they were sleeping.
Guerrero was last at Patton State Hospital in 2012 when another judge found him mentally incompetent to face a probation revocation for a robbery conviction. Guerrero pushed a 55-year-old homeless woman down and stole her bicycle in 2009.
Harvey previously said a railroad spike was plunged into the head and chest of Angelo DeNardo, 53, who was attacked where he was sleeping under the Interstate 5 Bridge near Mission Bay on July 3. An autopsy determined he died before his body was set on fire.
Harvey said railroad spikes were used in the deaths of Shawn Longley, 41, in Ocean Beach on July 4, and Dionicio Vahidy, 23, who was found downtown July 6 and died in a hospital on July 10.
The prosecutor said one surviving victim had a railroad spike cut into his sinus cavity and he was left blind in the Midway District. The fifth victim in Golden Hill was also attacked with a railroad spike. She said police found railroad spikes and a mallet in Guerrero’s downtown apartment, along with identification from two victims.
Special circumstance charges alleging Guerrero committed multiple murders have been filed which could allow the DA’s office to seek the death penalty if that option is pursued over a life term without parole.