The man charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a homeless man in the neck in downtown Santa Barbara in January will return to court next week to set a date for his preliminary hearing, prosecutors said.
The defendant, Mitchell Grant Grote, 27, appeared in court Feb. 21 to set his preliminary hearing date, but the matter was continued to March 7, Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Weichbrod told the News-Press.
Mr. Grote pleaded not guilty at his Jan. 31 arraignment in connection with the stabbing two days before. He remains in custody on more than $1 million bail.
Prosecutors charged him with two felony counts: attempted murder and assault with personal use of a deadly weapon.
Mr. Grote “did unlawfully and with malice aforethought attempt to murder a human being,” prosecutors said. They identified the injured man as W. Vankoppen.
They charged the defendant’s alleged offenses were serious and violent felonies, and that his actions were “willful, deliberate and premeditated.”
The charges carry with them special allegations of use of a deadly weapon, a knife, and causing great bodily injury.
Prosecutors also listed aggravating factors, including that Mr. Grote’s alleged actions disclosed a “high degree of cruelty, viciousness or callousness.”
Santa Barbara police arrested Mr. Grote on Jan. 29 after responding earlier in the day to calls reporting an injured and bleeding man near Anacapa and De La Guerra streets.
They located the victim, who they described as a middle-aged homeless man. He was suffering from a stab wound to the neck and was quickly transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by medics.
Patrol officers began their investigation, and detectives were called in to assist. Officers from the Community Action Team were able to assist and advance the investigation rapidly due to their relationships with people in the Santa Barbara community who are suffering from homelessness.
With information provided by community members, C.A.T. Officers identified Mr. Grote as a suspect, and probable cause was developed to make an arrest, police said.
He was found later on Milpas Street and arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide.