A hearing on whether a man accused of killing seven people in a shooting rampage at Oakland’s Oikos University in 2012 is mentally competent to stand trial will begin Wednesday morning.
One Goh, 47, is charged with seven counts of murder, three counts of premeditated attempted murder and the special circumstance allegations of committing a murder during a kidnapping and committing multiple murders for the shooting at Oikos on April 2, 2012.
A judge ruled on Jan. 7, 2013, that Goh, a Korean national, was incompetent to stand trial, citing reports by two psychiatrists who examined him. He has been treated at Napa State Hospital for more than two and a half years and until recently doctors continued to say they believe he’s mentally incompetent to stand trial.
But in their most recent report, which was released in early October, Napa State Hospital doctors said they think Goh is competent to stand trial.
However, Goh’s attorney Assistant Public Defender David Klaus has said that he believes that Goh is still incompetent to stand trial.
If Goh is found to be competent, a trial on the charges against him could be held in the near future.
But if Goh continues to be found to be mentally incompetent, he will be permanently placed at a mental institution such as Napa State Hospital.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes will preside over Goh’s competency hearing, which will take place in her courtroom on intermittent dates over the next few weeks and feature testimony by doctors who have examined him.
Goh is a former student who had voluntarily left Oikos University, a Christian vocational school at 7850 Edgewater Drive, near Oakland International Airport.
Prosecutors have said he appears to have wanted a refund of his tuition and may have been targeting an administrator who was not present on the day of the shooting.
Oakland police said Goh fled the Oikos campus after the shooting in a car belonging to one of the victims but was arrested in Alameda a short time later after he confessed to a Safeway security guard that he had just shot several people.
Killed in the shooting at Oikos were students Lydia Sim, 21, Sonam Choedon, 33, Grace Kim, 23, Doris Chibuko, 40, Judith Seymour, 53, and Tshering Bhutia, 38, as well as Katleen Ping, 24, who worked at the school.
According to Klaus, Goh suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and depression and may also be autistic.
Klaus said Goh has been suicidal at times and staff members at Napa State Hospital force him to take medication.