SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An 83-year-old man accused of gunning down his estranged wife on a busy street in the Gaslamp District is mentally competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Joseph Gotell faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted of murdering his 57-year-old wife, Deborah.
Judge Frederick Maguire reinstated criminal proceedings Wednesday, after attorneys agreed with a doctor's evaluation that the defendant understands the charges against him and can assist his lawyer at trial.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 2.
Deputy District Attorney C.J. Mody said Gotell confronted his wife about 2:15 p.m. on May 14 near the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. They argued, and Gotell pulled out a .32-caliber handgun and shot his wife twice in the head and once in the right arm, the prosecutor alleged. She was declared brain dead the next morning.
After the shooting, Gotell threw his gun about 10 feet away and was quickly detained by two security guards, who turned him over to a passing San Diego police officer, Mody said.
The prosecutor said the Gotells had separated after about five years of marriage. The victim was out running errands when she was confronted by her estranged husband, he said.
Authorities have yet to offer an official motive for the crime, but the victim's three adult daughters told reporters that their mother had broken away several times from the defendant.
A five year old girl's dream came true today with the help of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Leona, who lives in San Marcos and is battling cancer, wished to have the ultimate pirate ship playhouse in her backyard.
In celebration of American Heart Month, Rady Children's Hospital hosted its 34th annual Heart Party. It was a chance for former heart patients and the doctors who treated them to reunite.
Fair, warm and dry weather continues through Saturday, but an onshore flow will bring low clouds and fog Saturday night and much cooler weather to the county on Sunday.
Neighbors say the Prince Recycling Center on Voltaire Street is attracting crime and transients, and they want the center to move out of the area.
Few of us really know how our coworkers spend their time when they are off the clock. In Thursday's Zevely Zone, Jeff gets to know Ryan Brothers - a writer here at KFMB Stations and News 8 - who put his own signature on Mission Trails Regional Park.
A San Marcos man who shot his girlfriend and left her body in her car, parked along northbound Interstate 15 near Escondido, was convicted Friday of first-degree murder.
A local company is on the cutting edge of ocean exploration using unmanned vehicles powered by wind and sun and the future looks bright for these ocean drones, which currently are being tested off the coast of San Diego.