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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Accused Mass Murderer Incompetent for Trial

OAKLAND, Cal. (CN) - Accused mass murderer One Goh is not competent to stand trial for a shooting rampage that killed seven nursing students at Oikos College in Oakland, a Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

Goh, 47, of South Korea, is schizophrenic and incapable of helping his attorneys with his legal defense, Alameda County Court Judge Gloria Rhynes ruled.

"My decision doesn't mean this trial will never occur. It just means it won't happen yet," Rhynes told victims' family members in the courtroom.

"Justice is not denied; it's just delayed."

Goh had dropped out of nursing school at Oikos, a small, private Christian college near Oakland International Airport, months before the April 2, 2012 mass murders, and had demanded a refund of his tuition.

When he didn't get it, prosecutors say, he took a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and four 10-round magazines to the college, to kill an administrator - who was not there that day. So he lined some former classmates up against a wall, told them he was going to kill them, and did. He left seven dead and three wounded in the classroom, then stole a car and left the campus still shooting.

He is charged with seven counts of murder, three counts of premeditated attempted murder, one count of committing murder during a kidnapping, and other crimes.

Assistant Public Defender David Klaus told KCBS-TV that Goh wants the trial to proceed and to be given the death penalty as soon as possible, because he wants to die.

Klaus said he expects that Goh will stand trial sometime in the distant future.

Judge Rhynes ruled after a competency hearing that lasted eight days, during which psychiatrists testified that Goh does not understand the proceedings against him and is incapable of assisting with his own legal defense.

Goh's attorneys questioned Goh's mental competency in 2012. On Jan. 7, 2013, a judge found Goh to be incompetent and ordered him hospitalized at Napa State Hospital.

Though most of his doctors agree he is incompetent to stand trial, one suggested he is competent, which triggered the latest competency hearing.

Rhynes ordered Goh to remain hospitalized until he is competent to stand trial.

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