More mental health assessment ordered for man accused of stabbing deputy

Scene at the Jack in the Box on Soledad Canyon Road where law enforcement officer was stabbed. Within a few days of the alleged attacks, deputies launched a crackdown in the area. photo by Austin Dave.

After 18 months of mental health assessment on a man accused of stabbing a sheriff’s deputy, another mental health assessment has been scheduled for the same man in the new year.

Donald Chinchilla, now 23, is charged with one count of deliberate, premeditated, attempted murder of a peace officer.

Chinchilla appeared Thursday in San Fernando Superior Court where he was ordered to return to court on Jan. 15 for another mental health court update, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Tuesday.

A 1368 hearing for Chinchilla under the California Penal Code was first scheduled to be reviewed in court in May 2018.

Chinchilla was arrested Jan. 8, 2018, after deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station cordoned off a neighborhood one block north of the Canyon Country Jack in the Box restaurant where the stabbing occurred.

Chinchilla is accused of having approached his victim  — a law enforcement officer who was not in uniform and whom has not been identified — asked the officer if he was a deputy, and then stabbed the officer once in the chest.

The wounded detective, identified only as a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau, was rushed to the hospital, treated and then later released.

Section 1368 of the state’s penal code states: “If counsel informs the court that he or she believes the defendant is or may be mentally incompetent, the court shall order that the question of the defendant’s mental competence is to be determined in a hearing which is held pursuant to Sections 1368.1 and 1369.”

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