Despite questions raised about his mental state, a decorated Iraqi war veteran accused of trying to kill a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer by ramming him repeatedly with a truck is on his way to a preliminary hearing.
Philip Scott Newlyn, 28, of Elk Grove, who spent a portion of last year in Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino, appeared Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court where he was ordered to return for a preliminary hearing in March.
Newlyn is scheduled to have his prelim on March 15, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told The Signal Friday.
During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present evidence in a case, and the defense can respond, after which the judge will decide if the case should go to trial.
The pressing concern for authorities since Newlyn was arrested, however, was his mental state.
Awarded a Purple Heart medal in 2009 for having pulled a fellow soldier from a burning Humvee, Newlyn was arrested in August, accused of trying to kill a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer by ramming him repeatedly with a truck.
He was ordered to undergo evaluations that involved testing to determine their mental competency a week after being criminally charged.
Subsequently, Newlyn was sent to the Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino for psychological assessment.
Then in August, he returned to court and was found fit to stand trial, Santiago said.