Jurors began deliberating Wednesday to determine whether a Mendocino County teen is competent to stand trial for the murder of his sister?s ex-boyfriend.

Marcos Escareno, who was 14 when the crime occurred, is accused of shooting and killing Enoc Cruz, 21, outside his sister?s home on the Manchester Indian reservation.

His defense attorney, Katharine Elliott, sought the competency trial, saying he does not have the mental capability to assist her with his defense in a meaningful way.

Escareno has a low IQ, is immature and possibly suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from being abused as a child, psychologists for the defense testified during the trial.

Elliott said her client has trouble understanding court proceedings and remembering what she?s told him from one day to the next.

?I feel it?s more likely than not he?s incompetent,? Elliott told jurors during her closing arguments in the trial Wednesday.

Mendocino County Deputy District Attorney Matt Finnegan disagreed.

He said Escareno had no trouble understanding and answering questions when he took the stand during one of his court proceedings.

Psychiatric experts for the prosecution testified that any shortcomings Escareno has are insufficient to categorize him as incompetent for trial purposes.

?The evidence shows Mr. Escareno is competent to stand trial,? Finnegan said.

Competency to stand trial is based on three factors - whether defendants understand the nature and purpose of the proceedings; understand their status in the case; and can assist with their defense.

A defendant generally must be substantially impaired mentally ? such as being retarded, autistic or having cerebral palsy ? to be found incompetent, Judge Ron Brown told jurors.

Escareno?s verbal and comprehension skills tested at 77. Other skills tested in the 80s, according to testimony at the trial.

Largest North Coast Wildfires

2017-Tubbs fire- approximately 36,432 acres in Sonoma and Napa Counties. 92% contained as of Oct. 19.


2017-Nuns Fire- approximately 54 thousand acres- 34,398 in Sonoma County and 20,025 in Napa county. 80% contained as of Oct. 19.


2017-Atlas Fire- approximately 51,624 acres in Napa and Sonoma Counties. 85% contained as of Oct. 19.


2017-Redwood Fire- approximately 36,523 acres in Mendocino County. 85% contained as of Oct. 19.


2017-Pocket Fire-approximately 14,225 acres in Sonoma County. 63% contained as of Oct. 19.


2017-Sulphur Fire-approximately 2,207 acres in Lake County. 96% contained as of Oct. 19.


(TOTAL North Bay fires as of Oct. 18.- 195,434 acres)

2015- Valley Fire burnt 76,067 acres in Lake County. A total of 1,955 structures were destroyed.

2012- North Pass Fire- approximately 41,983 acres in Mendocino County.

2004- Rumsey fire- 39,138 acres in Napa and Yolo counties.

1996- Fork fire, the largest fire on record, burned through approximately 83,057 acres in Lake County. Much of the devastation was focused in the Mendocino National Forest.

1981- Atlas Peak Fire- approximately 23 thousand acres in Napa County.

1981- Cow Mountain Fire- approximately 25,534 acres in Lake and Mendocino counties.

1964- Hanly Fire- approximately 52,700 acres in Sonoma and Napa Counties. 84 homes, 24 summer cabins and countless farm buildings destroyed including the historic Tubbs Mansion.

1964- Nunns Canyon- approximately 7,000 acres in Sonoma County.

-Source: CAL Fire