Mental competency trial ordered for woman accused of running dow - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mental competency trial ordered for woman accused of running down cyclists

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A mental competency trial was ordered on Friday for a woman who was allegedly on drugs when she drove into a group of cyclists on Fiesta Island, critically injuring one rider.

Theresa Owens, 49, is charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine.

A report issued in December found that Owens is mentally competent to stand trial, but a second doctor opined that the defendant was incompetent

because she couldn't assist her attorney at trial.

Judge Joseph Brannigan granted a defense request to have the issue of competency decided at trial, beginning April 1.

Owens allegedly drove the wrong way on a one-way road about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, plowing into a group of 16-20 cyclists, hitting 10 of the riders

head-on, according to Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto.

The defendant got out of her car and appeared to be under the influence of drugs, screaming and acting erratically, according to witnesses.

Owens was taken to a hospital, where a baggie of methamphetamine was found in a body cavity, the prosecutor said.

One of the riders, 43-year-old Juan Carlos Vinolo, suffered permanent paralysis from the waist down when struck by the vehicle.

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