San Diego Superior Court Judge David Danielsen confirmed a psychiatric hospital’s finding that Guerrero is competent and criminal proceedings resumed with his Monday ruling.
Guerrero, 40, was returned from Patton State Hospital on Jan. 19 and he remains in the central jail without bail. Danielsen set the next hearing for April 4 and Guerrero is expected to enter a not guilty plea.
“We still have not had an arraignment,” said Deputy District Attorney Mackenzie Harvey to reporters afterwards.
Harvey and defense attorney Dan Tandon submitted two psychiatric reports to Danielsen in a brief hearing as well as the certificate of mental competency issued by Patton.
The first victim was Angelo DeNardo, 53, who was attacked where he was sleeping under the Interstate 5 bridge near Mission Bay on July 3, 2016. An autopsy determined he died before his body was set on fire.
Shawn Longley, 41, was found dead in Ocean Beach on July 4 and Dionicio Vahidy, 23, died July 10, four days after he was mortally wounded downtown.
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.
Tandon said Guerrero had “extensive mental health history.” He had been to Patton for a short time in 2009 after he was charged with stealing a bicycle from a homeless woman and knocking her down. Mental competency is a separate issue from sanity and it is possible Tandon could seek a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, but that would have to come in a trial.