Man accused of stabbing, SWAT standoff enters not guilty plea - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused of stabbing, SWAT standoff enters not guilty plea

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - A 20-year-old man accused of randomly targeting and inflicting more than 40 stab wounds on a biotech executive who was walking to a luncheon meeting near the Westfield mall in University City pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Odie James Miller was ordered held on $500,000 bail.

“Mr. Miller is on probation for a somewhat similar incident involving a knife and his family. So we thought it best for the safety of the community to ask for bail at $500,000,” said Deputy District Attorney Geoff Allard.

The incident Allard's referring to involved Miller's father, who was in court Monday, along with Miller's mother, aunts and grandmother. His family says they are frustrated with a system that gives family no rights to help their adult children with mental illness. Miller was on probation for a similar knife attack last year involving those family members when he allegedly assaulted the biotech executive last Wednesday, apparently without provocation, in the area of Renaissance Avenue and Towne Centre Drive near UTC shortly after noon.

The 44-year-old victim suffered non-life-threatening stab wounds to his head, neck, upper body, arms and hands and is recovering at home, Allard said.

“The victim was a biotech executive who was walking to a lunch time meeting in UTC. Mr. Miller approached him from behind, without any provocation whatsoever, stabbed him in vital areas over 40 times,” explained Allard.

The suspect escaped, and had been thought to be holed up inside a home in the 4300 block of Rolando Boulevard, near College and University avenues, SDPD Officer Frank Cali said.

Police went to the residence shortly before 2:30 a.m. last Thursday and called in a special weapons and tactics squad a short time later. The SWAT officers eventually entered and found that Miller was not there. It was unclear if he had ever been inside the home.

About 10:40 a.m. Thursday, officers located the suspect at Broadway and Park Boulevard in downtown San Diego and took him into custody following a brief struggle, Cali said.

Miller Sr. told CBS News 8 last week that he tried to warn authorities his son, who was diagnosed with symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar when he was 12, needed mental health treatment.

Miller was salutatorian of his high school graduating class.

“He was very bright, musically talented,” said Odie Miller, Sr. “And that's on his medication, without his medication life becomes unmanageable.”

Miller faces nearly 13 years in prison if convicted of the charges and allegations that he inflicted great bodily injury on the victim and personally used a weapon, Allard said.

Judge David Szumowski scheduled a readiness conference for Aug. 20 and a preliminary hearing for Aug. 22.

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