Ruled unfit for trial, Davis knife rampage suspect Dominguez is transferred to state hospital

Murder suspect Carlos Reales Dominguez is in Atascadero State Hospital, shipped Wednesday from Woodland’s Yolo County Jail, his attorney told a judge Thursday.

The brief morning hearing before Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed, sitting in for Judge Samuel T. McAdam, brought an anticlimactic close — for now — to one of the darkest chapters in recent Davis history.

The task now for doctors at Atascadero: return Reales Dominguez to competence and restore his ability to face trial on murder and attempted murder charges with special circumstances in the deadly Davis knife attacks that killed two men and left a third woman critically wounded in late April and early May.

The stabbing deaths of David Breaux, 50, and Karim Abou Najm, 20, in separate Davis city parks days apart, followed by the brutal attack on 64-year-old Kimberlee Guillory as she slept unhoused in her tent, ground the college town to a terrified halt amid the manhunt to find the killer.

Dominguez, 21, a UC Davis biological science major who once shone as a high school student-athlete in the East Bay, was dismissed from the university for academic reasons on April 25, just days before the deadly rampage.

Yolo Superior Court Judge Samuel McAdam in June ruled Dominguez — whose appearances were marked by his disheveled appearance and heavy jail-issued safety vest — unfit for trial.

Jurors who would decide his competency at weeks-long hearings in July listened to Dominguez’s friends and a former girlfriend; coworkers; and, finally, doctors and medical professionals, who described the former student’s slide into the apparent mental crisis that allegedly precipitated the attacks.

Dominguez said the “devil was talking to him in his dreams,” his former girlfriend testified. Dominguez’s behavior became increasingly bizarre and isolated, his roommates told jurors. The behavior became so troubling, roommates testified, that they selected one to talk to Dominguez about seeking help.

His attorney, Yolo County deputy public defender Daniel Hutchinson argued schizophrenia fueled his behavior.

“Carlos Dominguez is severely mentally ill,” Hutchinson told jurors in late July. Dominguez has schizophrenia, Hutchinson argued, “symptoms that take away what he once had.”

Yolo County prosecutors in August agreed. Dominguez was incompetent to stand trial.

Reed on Thursday set a 90-day review of Dominguez’s progress for Dec. 8 in Woodland.

It is unknown how long it will take before Dominguez’s competency is restored.