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Judge: Santa Rosa slaying suspect mentally competent for trial

A Santa Rosa man accused of stabbing his father to death during a confrontation in their Rincon Valley home is mentally competent to stand trial, a judge has ruled.

Houston Herczog, 21, claimed he suffered a psychotic break when he stabbed Mark Herczog, 63, more than 50 times.

His attorney, Karen Silver, said Herczog had a history of mental illness leading up to the Nov. 21 slaying. He's since been suicidal and unable to assist in his defense, she said.

Fatal Stabbing On Parkhurst Drive In Santa Rosa

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But following a two-day fitness hearing, Judge Julie Conger ruled Herczog could participate if he wanted to. She sided with two of three doctors who evaluated him and determined he was competent.

Testimony from the dissenting doctor was colored by an evaluation she said was more therapeutic than forensic.

Criminal proceedings were reinstated against Herczog with Thursday's ruling. A preliminary hearing is set for June 22.


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