LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered a mental competency evaluation for a man accused of fatally stabbing the 3-year-old daughter of two of his co-workers.
The fatal stabbing occurred on Halloween at a garment factory downtown.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Hanasono ordered criminal proceedings suspended against Ricardo Augusto Utuy, 34, after Deputy Public Defender Kevin McGurk asked him to declare a doubt about Utuy’s competence to stand trial.
Utuy is charged with murder for the Oct. 31 attack on Ruby Vasquez. He is also charged with the attempted murder of a woman who was stabbed at another downtown Los Angeles factory on March 10.
Utuy allegedly fatally attacked he girl after her parents brought her to work. The factory is located in the 800 block of McGarry Street, near Eighth and Alameda Streets.
The girl’s mother saw her daughter, who had gone to give her father a cookie, running toward her with Utuy close behind, according to prosecutors.
Utuy allegedly stabbed the girl multiple times with a knife.
She was reportedly driven from the scene in a private vehicle, which was met by an ambulance. The little girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Utuy ater surrendered at the LAPD’s Rampart Station and has remained in jail since.
After seeing Utuy’s photo in news reports, his earlier alleged victim came forward, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
LAPD Detective Supervisor Moses Castillo, who works in the Juvenile Division’s Abused Child Section, called the March 10 attack “very similar” to the Halloween slaying.
“Obviously this is a case that has really touched all of our hearts,” Castillo said.
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