‘Massacre-threat’ trial will start over due to ‘incompetence’ of former student

The judge presiding on the the case of the former student, who allegedly threatened to create a massacre on campus, ruled today that the case will begin with a new preliminary hearing on Oct. 20.

James Lemus, 35, was deemed incompetent at the time of his original preliminary hearing, on Nov. 4, 2014, by two expert forensic psychiatrists.

Dr. Sanjay Sahgal, forensic psychiatrist, spoke for the defense on the report he did about Lemus’ competency at the time of his arrest.

“(Lemus) has Schizophrenia and a history of meth abuse,” Sahgal said. “More likely than not on Nov. 4, 2014, he was not competent mentally to proceed (at the preliminary). He was not medicating leading up to his arrest on Oct. 1, 2014.”

Lemus, who allegedly threatened to massacre the campus last fall, has been in custody ever since and was under psychiatric hold before being released into custody.

Later on, the district attorney’s expert witness was called to the stand to testify.

“He was not competent at the time of the prelim,” Dr. Risa Grand, forensic psychiatrist, said. “He was under treated (for his disease) and he was delusional at the time.”

Both psychiatrists said that Lemus was not competent at that time, but has been a lot better after taking the prescription “Abilify.” Sahgal said that Lemus told him that he has been much better, as of late.

Grand added that he “is currently competent” due to the therapeutic doses of Abilify, that he has been taking while in custody.

After confirming both of the witnesses’ testimony, public defender Vanessa Johnson filed for a 995 motion to restart the trial due to the fact that Lemus “was not competent” at the time of prelim.

Judge Eric C. Taylor ruled in favor of the defense and Lemus will have a new hearing on Oct. 20.

Read the original temporary restraining order here.