Murder Suspect's Competency to be Re-Evaluated

The man accused of fatally beating a Belmont resident in 2009 may not be mentally incompetent after all.

At a hearing on Tuesday, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum set Nov. 8 as the date for a new hearing to reevaluate the mental competency of the 23-year-old man who is accused in the 2009 beating death of Belmont resident .

Tyler James Hutchinson was committed to Atascadero State Hospital in April . That ruling was based on the evaluation of two court-appointed doctors who determined the defendent was mentally incompetent.

Hutchinson is accused of robbing, burglarizing and beating 88-year-old Albert Korn after breaking into his home on Hallmark Drive on June 2, 2009.

Tuesday's hearing centered around penal code section 1372, which is a certification of restoration to competency. After several months in the state hospital, doctors there feel Hutchinson may not be incompetent after all. 

Hutchinson's attorneys, James Thompson and Richard Keyes were present with their client in the courtroom. Thompson said the legal team has reviewed the 1372 request as well as the prosecution's response and the new evaluation by Drs. David Fennell and Thomas Cahill.

The defendant's attorneys advised the court that the defense will contest the conclusion of the state hospital medical staff that the Hutchinson has been restored to competency. They said that based on that conclusion, their client is entitled to a new hearing and for new doctors to do another evaluation.

"We would like to have a new hearing," Thompson said. "We are still trying to contact witnesses and we also believe it would be reasonable of the court to have the doctors come back for a new hearing." The court declined the defense request to appoint doctors to examine the defendant.

The court granted the prosecution request for an order to the Sheriff to notify the court and the attorneys if the Hutchinson at any time ceased to take his psychotropic medication.

When asked if there would be new doctors brought into the case, Thompson said, "We'll work that out."

The case has been continued to Nov. 8 at 9 a.m.


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