Andrew Downs, the man accused of murdering two women in Santa Margarita on Christmas Day, was found competent to stand trial by Judge John Trice, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Downs, 20, now will face criminal proceedings instead of undergoing mental health treatment. Three doctors examined him, and their findings led to Trice’s determination about Downs’ competency.
Competency to stand trial means that the defendant is able to assist in his own defense.
Prosecutor Dave Pomeroy amended the charges in the case against Downs to allege special circumstances of a multiple murder case that would allow the penalty to be enhanced.
Never miss a local story.
Pomeroy said he won’t seek the death penalty, which is an option, but will seek life without the possibility of parole against Downs.
Downs has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Kathy Yeager and Beverly Reilly.
He is a diagnosed schizophrenic.
He is due back in court for a pre-preliminary hearing on April 26.