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Judge rules Berkeley murder defendant competent

by Seth Hemmelgarn

Pablo Gomez Jr. Courtesy Berkeley Police Dept.
Pablo Gomez Jr. Courtesy Berkeley Police Dept.  


A judge has reinstated criminal proceedings against a non-binary person who's been charged with murder in the January stabbing death of one Berkeley woman and attempted murder in the stabbing of another.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson said Monday that Pablo Gomez Jr., 22, had been found mentally competent.

In February, Rolefson had appointed doctors to evaluate Gomez and suspended criminal proceedings against them.

Gomez, of North Hollywood, California, is accused of killing Emilie Juliette Inman, 27, of Berkeley and trying to kill another woman January 6. Gomez also faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree residential robbery. 

According to a Berkeley Police Department community alert, officers responded to an 11:42 a.m. call January 6 to the 2600 block of Ridge Road to make contact with a woman who'd apparently been stabbed and was "seriously wounded." The woman survived.

While they were investigating that incident, officers were led to a location in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue, where they found "a violent crime had occurred."

A probable cause statement filed by police says that "a significant amount of blood was found in certain parts" of the Ashby Avenue property.

Gomez "was identified as the suspect and positively identified" by the first victim, said police. During a search of the property, and "pursuant to a search warrant, the deceased body of a female was located," according to police. That woman was eventually identified as Inman.

In charging documents filed by prosecutors, the same woman is listed as the victim of the attempted murder and assault, while another person is listed as the victim of the robbery.

Police in Burbank, California arrested Gomez January 7.

Someone who's "not super close" to Gomez told the Bay Area Reporter in a Facebook exchange that Gomez identifies as non-binary and uses third-person pronouns.

In court Monday, Rolefson referred to the defendant as "Mr. Gomez."

Gomez, who's declined an interview request from the B.A.R., hasn't entered a plea and is being held without bail in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California.

Traffic backups stemming from a fatal crash Monday morning on Interstate 880 delayed court proceedings, and Gomez's appearance was waived.

Deputy Public Defender Bob Mertens declined to comment on the case after court, saying he was standing in for Deputy Public Defender George Arroyo, Gomez's regular attorney.

People in the viewing gallery there for the case also declined to comment.

The next court date is May 18.



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