The case against a man charged with murder in a fatal shooting on New Year’s Day 2018 has been suspended due to concerns about his mental competency.
Joel Angel Campos, 25, and Brian Charles Ruiz, 30, appeared Monday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court before Judge Michael Carrozzo.
The defendants are charged with murder in the shooting death of Jesus Reyes and the attempted murder of Tomas Arzate on Jan. 1, 2018. They also face enhancements of murder committed for street gang purposes and a serious felony for the benefit of a street gang.
In June, Mr. Campos’ attorney Doug Hayes filed a mental competency doubt on behalf of his client. The motion claimed Mr. Campos’ is mentally unfit to stand trial.
Judge Carrozzo ordered a psychological evaluation report and determined Monday Mr. Campos was not fit for trial.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Hans Almgren said Mr. Ruiz will appear for another settlement conference on Oct. 21. His trial remains set for January 2020.
On Jan. 1, 2018, the Santa Barbara Police Department responded to reports of gunshots at around 3:30 a.m. at a residence in the 200 block of West Victoria Street.
Officers found Mr. Reyes dead in the street in the 1300 block of De la Vina Street and Mr. Arzate, then 19, standing on the sidewalk of the 200 block of West Victoria Street. They were Santa Barbara’s first shooting victims 2018.
Police say the attack occurred at a New Year’s party, with as many as 20 people in attendance. Some at the party allegedly had gang affiliations.
Mr. Ruiz was arrested Jan. 14, 2018, at the Mexican border in San Ysidro. Mr. Campos was arrested Jan. 19, 2018, in Solvang.
Mr. Campos’ brother, Adrian Ramon Campos, 25, also was arrested in connection with the shooting, on Jan. 12, 2018, at his residence in Goleta.
He pleaded guilty Aug. 9 to being an accessory after the fact to Mr. Reyes’ murder. Judge Michael Carrozzo sentenced Adrian Campos on Oct. 29 to four years in state prison.