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Accused killer's competency still up in air

 | Published on 3/26/2011


The competency question for a Hillsborough man accused of fatally shooting his friend several times during an argument in his parents’ pool house remains unclear as the court-appointed doctor expected to break the stalemate of two others didn’t return his report Friday.

The doctor needed more time to complete his evaluation of Bradley Allen Kleiman and his decision is now due April 26, said prosecutor Joe Cannon. Two doctors who’ve already assessed Kleiman, 31, are split in their findings which is why the third was named to tip the balance on whether he is fit for trial on murder and gun charges.

Competency is a defendant’s ability to aid in their own defense while sanity is his or her mental state at the time of an alleged crime.

If found incompetent, Kleiman’s criminal proceedings will stay on hold while he is sent to a state hospital for treatment. Once deemed fit to aid in his own defense, Kleiman will return to San Mateo County for prosecution. If the third doctor instead finds Kleiman competent, he will head to trial unless his defense attorney disputes the findings and requests a jury or judge decide. 

Kleiman claims the shooting of Calvache, which included two shots in the head and one in the buttocks, was an accident. However, prosecutors believe the pair may have been arguing over a marijuana business. According to prosecutors, Kleiman called 911 to report shooting Calvache, 30, in a pool house detached from a five-bedroom main house on De Sabla Road where his parents live. Calvache and Kleiman were the only ones on the property at the time. Kleiman said he shot Calvache during a struggle after his friend pulled a gun on him. Prosecutors also say the friends had planned to go to dinner together before the altercation. When police arrived, they reportedly found Kleiman carrying marijuana plants in the backyard and a weapon and casings inside the pool house. Authorities have not confirmed who owned the gun.

His longtime attorney, Tony Gibbs, has said his client has a long history of mental illness.

In September, Judge Richard Livermore took the unusual step of seeking a competency evaluation before Kleiman entered a plea.

Two months later, a criminal grand jury indicted Kleiman which means if he is hospitalized but later returned to San Mateo County, he will move straight to Superior Court for trial. Also, hospitalized defendants who are not returned for trial within three years and do not have an indictment will have the case dismissed.

Kleiman remains in custody on no-bail status.