Crime - Sacto 911

Yolo judge to mull competency trial for hit-and-run suspect

A Yolo County judge will decide in September whether to order a competency trial for the man accused in June of intentionally running down and seriously injuring three cyclists near West Sacramento.

Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg ordered prosecutors to file briefs by Friday in support of holding a competency trial for Alamar Cyril Houston, telling defense counsel to respond by Aug. 28. Rosenberg said he will rule Sept. 4 whether to set proceedings to determine Houston’s fitness to stand trial in the June collision.

Houston, 38, faces three counts of attempted murder and an assortment of other charges in Yolo Superior Court connected to the June 30 incident. Prosecutors allege Houston plowed through a trio of bicyclists, including two juveniles, riding along South River Road between West Sacramento and Clarksburg while behind the wheel of a stolen 2015 Hyundai.

Donald Dumaine, 51, was struck first, before a 17-year-old and another teenager were hit by the car believed driven by Houston. A photo taken after the incident showed the mangled bicycle of one of the injured teens crumpled on the pavement. California Highway Patrol chased Houston into downtown Sacramento following the violent scene and arrested him. He remains in Yolo County custody.

Houston, animated at previous hearings, interrupted Rosenberg at one point Wednesday and asked several times to address the court before Rosenberg called on defense counsel Sally Fredricksen to speak with her client.

Houston was arraigned in July on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon (a vehicle) and felony driving under the influence of drugs in connection to the incident. Yolo County prosecutors have since amended their complaint to charge two counts of hit and run causing injury, as well as a third allegation of hit and run causing serious injury, plus the DUI charge and an assault count alleged after Houston was pursued into Sacramento County, said prosecuting deputy district attorney Garrett Hamilton.

Hamilton also called on Rosenberg to appoint a second doctor to perform a mental health evaluation of Houston to supplement examinations by a court-appointed doctor, citing what he said was Houston’s “well-documented history” of competency issues in Yolo and neighboring Solano County.

Fredricksen objected, arguing that prosecutors had no authority to select their own doctor to evaluate Houston. Rosenberg said Hamilton could argue the point in his brief asking for a competency trial.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

Houston, animated at previous hearings, interrupted hearing Wednesday and asked several times to address the court before Rosenberg called on defense counsel Sally Fredricksen