UPDATE: Hearing postponed for Ridgecrest man charged in woman’s mutilation death

Crime Watch

UPDATE (7/13): A hearing regarding Gunnarsson’s competency to stand trial has been postponed to Aug. 3 after a doctor requested more time to prepare a report.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The criminal case against a man accused of stabbing to death an acquaintance in Ridgecrest was suspended Tuesday until the suspect undergoes a mental competency examination.

Daniel Gunnarsson, 20, will be examined by a psychiatrist to determine if he understands the criminal proceedings against him and can assist his attorney in the preparation of a defense. If he’s found incompetent, he’ll be placed in a state hospital until restored to competency.

A hearing to discuss the results of the examination is scheduled July 13.

Gunnarsson is accused of stabbing and mutilating the corpse of 21-year-old Katie Pham in May at a home on Skylark Avenue. The two had known each other since high school, according to friends and family.

A motive has not been released.

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