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Man charged with stabbing a stranger needs more mental health care, doctor says

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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Ruben Diaz, who was charged with a brutal stabbing last year, is still mentally unfit for trial, a psychologist says.

Diaz is accused of stabbing a 74-year-old man who was raking leaves in his yard in Southeast Boise.

Diaz is expected to need psychiatric treatment for another six months.

Under Idaho law, a defendant may be evaluated by a mental health expert and found incapable of aiding in their own defense. The accused is then given mental health treatment with the goal of becoming mentally competent to participate in their court case.

RELATED: Man who stabbed stranger doing yardwork at Boise home found unfit to stand trial

District Judge Jonathan Medema in December ordered Diaz into psychiatric treatment for that reason.

Medema said a psychiatric evaluation showed Diaz lacked “capacity to make informed decisions about treatment” and that he presented “a substantial risk of physical harm to other persons.”

That order was for 90 days, and this month Diaz was re-evaluated.

RELATED: Boise man accused of stabbing stranger was released from prison 4 months ago

Dr. Richard Baker, chief of psychology at State Hospital South in Blackfoot, said in court documents March 5 that Diaz still isn’t ready.

But, Baker said, “with further treatment, there is a substantial probability that he will become fit to proceed within the foreseeable future.”

This article was originally published in the Idaho Statesman. It is used here with permission.

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