Another mental competency evaluation was ordered Monday for an ex-con accused of shooting a San Diego Police Officer at the end of a vehicle pursuit and foot chase through City Heights.
Ignacio Canela, 32, is charged with premeditated attempted murder and other counts stemming from the October 2013 shooting that seriously injured Officer Tim Bell.
In January, Canela’s attorney raised a doubt regarding his client’s ability to understand the charges and assist in his own defense and requested a mental competency evaluation.
Canela refused to participate in the scheduled evaluation, and defense attorney Stewart Dadmun asked today that doctors try again to evaluate his client for mental competency.
Judge Steven Stone set a follow-up hearing for April 17.
If Canela is deemed competent, criminal charges will be reinstated. If not, he will be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment.
During a preliminary hearing last year, Officer Bell testified that he was wounded after wrestling with Canela inside a dark drainage tunnel.
Bell said he caught up with Canela — who officers had pursued through local streets while trying to stop him for outstanding felony warrants — and chased the suspect through a canyon and into the tunnel.
The five-year SDPD veteran was shot in the left arm, twice in the left hip and once in the abdomen.
Canela — who has been to prison several times on burglary and other charges dating back to 2004 — faces 40 years to life in prison if convicted.
—City News Service
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