News briefs
by Neal Putnam
Published - 03/15/13 - 11:27 AM | 2543 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Man shot by ranger goes to mental hospital — A transient who was shot by a park ranger at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and charged with two felony assault counts was committed to a state mental hospital after a judge determined he was mentally incompetent to stand trial.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Joseph Brannigan found that Charles Dustin Collins, 29, requires treatment and needs to take psychiatric medications at Patton State Hospital.

The charges are suspended and if Collins regains his ability to understand court proceedings, he would be returned to San Diego to face the charges again.

A state park ranger heard a report about a naked man running around the area on Dec. 13. Collins confronted the ranger with a knife and the ranger shot him in the torso.

Sentencing delayed for Berki killers — A judge delayed sentencing March 8 for three men who were convicted of murdering Garrett Berki, 18, a 2010 graduate of La Jolla High School.

Defense attorneys persuaded Judge Kerry Wells to delay the sentencing until May 31, based on recent changes in state law over the sentences of minors who are tried as adults.

The gunman, Rashon Abernathy, 19, is expected to get 50 years in prison.

“I want to give my client every opportunity … to get a parole decision in his natural life,” said his attorney, Kathleen Coyne.

Attorneys for Shaquille Jordan and Seandell Lee Jones, both 19, said their clients face terms of 25 years to life, which they considered too long.

A jury convicted them all of first-degree murder and robbery of Berki last November. Berki had met the trio in Paradise Hills on May 11, 2011 in response to an ad on Craigslist when they robbed him. He pursued the trio by car and was shot.

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