Crime and Courts

California Man Accused Of Beheading Estranged Girlfriend on Street Appears in Court

The man's attorney said his client was "not capable of assisting in his own defense"

NBC Universal, Inc.

A man suspected of beheading a woman in San Carlos, California appeared in court for the first time since the killing on Monday.

Jose Landaeta Solano was arrested Thursday after beheading 27-year-old Karina Castro on the street in front of her neighbors. Landaeta Solano was the woman's estranged boyfriend.

He was supposed to be charged with murder but that came to a halt when his attorney said his client was "not capable of assisting in his own defense," which is a way of saying he's not competent to stand trial.

Two doctors will be assigned to conduct a mental health evaluation on the suspect and if he's deemed uncapable, the proceedings will go on keeping his mental health state in mind. The evaluation is expected to take approximately eight weeks.

Martin Castro Jr., the woman's father, was present at the court but NBC Bay Area was not able to talk to him at the moment.

Castro's children, a 1-year-old and a 7-year-old, are currently under the care of Child Protective Services.

Investigators believe the incident began with the couple fighting inside her apartment around 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The fight then spilled outside, where authorities said Solano used what sources are describing as a samurai sword to kill her.

Investigators told NBC Bay Area that Solano has an extensive, violent criminal past and a history of mental illness. They also said there is a history of domestic violence calls and other complaints tied to the home.

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