Would-be carjacker in Point Loma found mentally incompetent
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 05/03/19 - 08:05 AM | 722 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A would-be carjacker who didn’t know how to start a high-tech car in the Midway District was found mentally incompetent Monday(April 29) and was sent to a state psychiatric hospital.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian III looked at a psychologist’s report on Robert John Bustillos, 49, and determined he was not mentally competent to stand trial.

Bustillos will be given psychiatric medications at Patton State Hospital and will return here after doctors and another judge determine he has regained his mental competency. Criminal proceedings remain suspended.

Bustillos will likely face a 25 years to life term in prison if he is convicted of robbery and attempted carjacking in the Jan. 7 incident in which he demanded the car keys from a customer at a 7-Eleven store on Midway Drive.

Security camera footage showed the robber taking the keys to a Chevrolet Volt at 6:05 a.m. from the owner of the hybrid car, but Bustillos apparently didn’t know it required a button to push to start the car.

He exited the vehicle and threw the keys and the man’s cellphone up in the air and walked away. He was arrested six blocks away later that morning.

Court records show Bustillos was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in Stockton, Ca. in 2004. He was also convicted of robbery in 2012 in Stockton.

Deputy District Attorney James Koerber said he was aware of the convictions and that Bustillos could face a three-strike sentence if convicted in the current case. He declined to say anything about his prior record.

Bustillos has pleaded not guilty to the charges and will be transferred from jail to the state psychiatric facility.
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