SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A mental competency trial was postponed Tuesday until Jan. 23 for a teenager accused of repeatedly stabbing his mother's fiance in the family's Clairemont home.
Kaleb Burton, 17, was charged in adult court last year with premeditated attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the July 22 attack on 58-year-old Ricardo Clark. Criminal proceedings were suspended a week later when Burton's attorney questioned whether the teenager understood the charges against him and could assist in his own defense.
At Burton's arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich alleged the teen became upset with Clark, grabbed a butcher knife and stabbed him five times -- once in the head, once in the neck and three times in the arm. The stab to the neck missed Clark's carotid artery by 3 millimeters, the prosecutor said.
Nikoletich said the victim was able to disarm the defendant, but Burton allegedly grabbed a second knife and went outside the home on Dubois Drive. When police arrived, the youth at first disregarded officers' commands to drop the weapon, the prosecutor said. He eventually dropped the knife but was shot with a stun gun when he came toward officers, according to Nikoletich.
Deputy Public Defender Milly Durovic said the teen has serious psychiatric issues and has been diagnosed as mentally disabled. The defendant faces life in prison if convicted.
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