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Hillsborough man indicted on a charge of murder

 | Published on 11/8/2010


REDWOOD CITY -- A San Mateo County grand jury has indicted a Hillsborough man in the slaying of a longtime friend, a decision prosecutors hope will bring the case to trial sooner, an attorney said Monday.

The murder case against 30-year-old parolee Bradley Kleiman has been delayed repeatedly at the request of his attorney. But now that San Mateo County prosecutors have the indictment, they will be allowed to skip a time-consuming step on the way to trial -- a preliminary hearing on the evidence.

"We want to expedite the proceedings," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Kleiman has been in jail since June 15, when police found 30-year-old Christopher Calvache of San Francisco dead in the pool house at the Kleiman family's Hillsborough home.

Police said Kleiman called 911 that night and said that he had shot Calvache after his friend threatened him with a gun.

Authorities didn't buy the self-defense argument, and Kleiman was charged with murder.

Despite the indictment, the case is on hold because his lawyer contends Kleiman is not mentally fit to stand trial.

Defense attorney Tony Gibbs said there are significant concerns about the competency of his client.

In fact, Gibbs said he asked for the earlier delays because of questions over Kleiman's mental health.

"The indictment doesn't impact that," said Gibbs?.

Court-appointed doctors are scheduled to deliver their assessments of Kleiman's mental state on Nov. 18.

If he is found competent, the case continues through the court system. If not, Kleiman would likely be sent to a state mental hospital and kept there until doctors decide he is well enough to aid in his own defense.

While the prosecution and defense have focused on the competency issue, Gibbs said he has doubts about the charges against his client.

"I believe there is a very substantial question about whether the shooting was in self-defense," he said.

Kleiman is due back in San Mateo County Superior Court today ?for plea entry and remains in custody without bail, Wagstaffe said.