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Murder suspect in Paso Robles stabbing may not face trial

John Wesley Barrett, one of four people accused in a Paso Robles stabbing death in August, has been found incompetent to stand trial and will undergo more mental screening.

An initial mental health report found Barrett incompetent because he is developmentally disabled. But Thursday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Judge John Trice ordered more mental screening of Barrett, which will include determining if he should be sent to a state mental hospital or a residential facility, if he is not mentally competent to stand trial.

The new competency report is due Jan. 19. Barrett has pleaded not guilty and remains in County Jail without bail.

Trice questioned sending Barrett to a residential facility due to the severity of the charges against him. Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham agreed, saying he could not envision that Barrett would be sent to a less-than-secure location like a residential facility.

Barrett, 41, of Atascadero is one of four suspects charged with murder in the stabbing death of Robert Kenichi Uyeno, who was found dead in his room at the Farmhouse Motel in Paso Robles on Aug. 22. Authorities believe the killing was drug-related.

Police say Uyeno was stabbed multiple times in the torso. He was found up to 12 hours after he was killed in the motel room in which he lived.

The other defendants in the case are Tabatha Brown, 29, of San Luis Obispo; Alfonso “Pancho” Fierros, 32, of Paso Robles; and Jennifer Velten, 28, of Paso Robles. All are being held in County Jail without bail.

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