Man accused of stabbing and killing his roommate pleads not guilty

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A man accused of killing his roommate by stabbing him in the eye has pleaded 'not guilty.'

Antonio Atkinson faced a judge Monday but there are questions about his mental status.

Since Atkinson was booked into jail there have been concerns that he could be a danger to himself or jail staff. He did not say much but his mental capacity will likely be explored

Atkinson only spoke briefly in court to answer the judge.

But his opportunity to bail out of jail was revoked since he was already on felony probation when the murder happened in August.

Kojo Moore is representing the defendant and he's just beginning to look into various police reports provided by prosecutors.

Officers allege Atkinson was acting bizarre one afternoon before he stabbed his sleeping roommate Reynaldo Hernandez.

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Moore needs to learn more before he develops a strategy.

"I don't have any concerns about representing him. There might be some mental issues- but we're going to look into his case," said Kojo Moore, Attorney.
According to court records, Atkinson was on probation for vandalism, for breaking a glass door and destroying other property at the same home where the homicide happened.

The victim's family opened up their home to Atkinson.

Details about what happened that day of the murder aren't known. Hernandez's mother said her son was listening to music in his room when he was killed.

Moore said he's going to spend time at the jail with Atkinson later this week.

"To meet with my client, go over the case and then decide what we're going to do," said Moore.

Atkinson needs to be able to assist his attorney with his defense. If not, Moore will be requesting a mental evaluation.
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