Jury to decide whether Kori Muhammad is mentally competent to stand trial after shooting rampage in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Kori Muhammed was removed from the courtroom moments after he entered, when he shouted a variety of phrases including "Elijah Muhammad is alive" Alluah Akbar" and "can't stop this."

In the brief hearing that followed a date of January 8th was set for a trial to decide if he is competent enough to be put on trial for murder.

His attorney, Richard Beshwate notes that is unusual since two medical professionals have already found him incompetent.

"Traditionally when we have a case like this, often times when there are two court appointed doctors, who find a client incompetent we would frankly agree to it, and all that means is that he would go to a state hospital for treatment until he's restored," said Richard Beshwate.

But in this case the District Attorney hired a third psychiatrist who said Muhammad is competent. ABC 30 Legal Analyst, attorney Tony Capozzi believes it was the right move.

"In this case it's a very sensitive case, a high profile case very drastic case, the District Attorney made the right decision here to have another person interview the defendant," said Capozzi.

The defense will work to convince a jury that Muhammed is not competent.

"There's a long history of mental health issues in Mr. Muhammad's life, we are trying to track down all the evidence that points in that direction."

Capozzi notes that showing competency to stand trial is not the same as being insane or knowing right from wrong.

"In terms of competency, does he understand the process. It's not whether or not he's insane, it's whether or not he understands the court process. What's the role of the judge." what's the role of the prosecutor, what's your role in this process."
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