Man accused of killing parents to undergo mental competency exam - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused of killing parents to undergo mental competency exam

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A mental competency evaluation was ordered Wednesday for a 22-year-old man accused of gunning down his parents in their home in the Sunset Cliffs area of Point Loma last year.

Peter David Haynes is charged in the deaths of 62-year-old David Ellis Haynes and 61-year-old Lissa Danielle Haynes. The defendant faces special circumstance allegations of lying in wait, murder during a burglary and multiple murders, which could result in the death penalty if he's convicted.

At his client's scheduled arraignment, defense attorney Richard Gates told Judge David Szumowski that he had doubt as to the defendant's ability to understand the charges against him and to assist in his own defense.

The judge suspended criminal proceedings, ordered Haynes held without bail and scheduled a Feb. 20 hearing to review a psychiatrist's report on whether the defendant is competent.

If the defendant is found to be mentally competent, criminal charges will be reinstated. If he's found mentally incompetent, he would be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment.

"Peter, by history, has schizophrenia ... a form of schizophrenia," Gates said outside court. "That schizophrenia obviously played a role in what has happened and continues to play a role in his ability to participate in his own case."

Gates said he's not sure if Haynes knows what he did.

"His understanding of what is happening -- his understanding of his role in what's happening -- is muddled by the mental illness," Gates said. "That's the nature of the incompetency."

The defendant was arrested on Nov. 28, several hours after gunfire rang out in the home on Tarento Drive near Santa Barbara Street.

His father -- who had worked as an emergency room physician in Yuma, Arizona, for 20 years -- called 911 about 3:10 a.m. A dispatcher heard gunshots as the victim asked for help shortly before the line was disconnected, according to San Diego police Lt. Paul Rorrison.

Officers sent to the home found David and Lissa Haynes mortally wounded. Doctors at UC San Diego Medical Center were unable to save them, Rorrison said.

Their son was armed with a handgun when he was arrested walking away from the crime scene about 7:45 a.m., police said.

Gates said signs that Haynes was headed for a psychotic breakdown may have been missed by his parents.

"Parents don't look at this in a clinical way, parents look at their children through the eyes of parents," Gates said. "And so signs that to a clinician would be signs of danger, signs that to you and me are signs of danger, are missed by parents because they don't look at their children that way."

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