SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A mental competency hearing was ordered Monday for a 10-year-old East County boy accused of fatally stabbing a 12-year-old friend in the driveway of his home in Winter Gardens last January.
Defense attorneys told a judge that they had doubt as to the 10-year-old's ability to understand the charges against him and assist in his own defense.
A hearing was scheduled for Aug. 21 in Juvenile Court, at which time a judge may rule on the issue of competence or attorneys may ask for more evaluations, said Deputy District Attorney Victor Barr.
Described by neighbors as a troubled youngster prone to outbursts of anger and aggression, the 10-year-old is accused of stabbing Ryan Carter in the chest about 1:15 p.m. on Jan. 16.
If convicted of murder and assault, the 10-year-old could be held in the juvenile justice system until age 25, Barr said. A child under 14 cannot be tried in adult court, where the objective is punishment, not rehabilitation, the prosecutor said.
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