Evaluation extends ‘massacre threat’ trial

The trial for the former El Camino student accused of threatening the school is delayed again after today’s court proceedings.

Former student James Lemus was tested for a psychological evaluation by a court-appointed official, Defense Attorney Jonathan Cruz said.

As per usual, Lemus came out and gave a smile to his mother and blew her a kiss before sitting in his seat next to Cruz.

But this time, after months of waiting and the patience of Lemus running low, Cruz was prepared with some findings of the report.

“My client (Lemus) was not competent at the time of the preliminary hearing,” Cruz said.

That statement caused some stress to the prosecution’s side, as both the judge and prosecution have yet to fully read the report.

“Nothing’s changed (with the case),” Deputy District Attorney Patrick O’Crowley said. “He’s (Cruz) looking to undo what was already done at the prelim.”

O’Crowley asked for a possible people’s continuance depending on the findings of the report, and even made it clear that the prosecution may need to have its own official evaluation of Lemus.

Lemus firmly refused given the time extension matter. While Cruz and Lemus talked on the side, Judge Eric C. Taylor gave a bit of advice concerning the matter that a little extension may give the defense a bit more time to prepare as well.

“I finally have a bit of my voice being heard with this evaluation,” Lemus said. “The safety of my community is my main concern. Whichever way this case goes, I’ve done my time.”

James Lemus’ next court date is July 9 in Torrance court.