Criminal proceedings have been suspended against Nicholas Brito Rosales, now 54, as his attorney has doubted his mental competency to stand trial.
Jalel (Joe) Abou, 63, was shot to death at his shop at Joe’s Auto Repair on Rosecrans Street on April 19, 2011. Rosales used to work for Abou, and he was extradited from Mexico in September 2017.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Margo Woods said she had received a report from one doctor who interviewed Rosales in jail, but his attorney, Brian Schmidt, said he wanted “an independent evaluation” from another doctor before proceeding.
Another doctor will examine Rosales in jail and a mental competency hearing by Woods was set for June 20.
Abou was found dead at 7:30 a.m. when officers responded to the shop in the 1900 block of Rosecrans Street.
Rosales fled the area to Mexico, but was arrested for an unspecified crime for which he was sent to prison. The U.S. Marshal’s Service arrested him Sept. 12 in Mexico City after his release from prison.
If Rosales is found mentally competent, a preliminary hearing will be set. If he’s found incompetent, he would be sent to a state psychiatric facility for treatment.
Rosales has pleaded not guilty and remains in the central jail on $4 million bail.