Man accused of killing parents unfit for trial
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 22-year-old mentally ill man accused of gunning down his parents in their home in the Sunset Cliffs area of Point Loma is mentally incompetent to stand trial and will be sent to Patton State Hospital for treatment, a judge ruled Friday.
Peter David Haynes is charged in the deaths of 62-year-old David Ellis Haynes and 61-year-old Lissa Danielle Haynes last Nov. 28. He faces special circumstance allegations of lying in wait, murder during a burglary and multiple murders, which could result in the death penalty if he’s convicted.
At his client’s scheduled arraignment, defense attorney Richard Gates told a judge that he had doubt as to the defendant’s ability to understand the charges against him and to assist in his own defense.
Today, after reviewing two reports from a doctor, Judge Joseph Brannigan ruled that Haynes was incompetent to stand trial. Haynes — who has been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia — will remain at the state mental hospital for up to three years or until his competency is restored.
The defendant was arrested on Nov. 28, several hours after gunfire rang out in the home on Tarento Drive near Santa Barbara Street.
His father — who had worked as an emergency room physician in Yuma, Arizona, for 20 years — called 911 about 3:10 a.m. A dispatcher heard gunshots as the victim asked for help shortly before the line was disconnected, according to San Diego police Lt. Paul Rorrison.
Officers sent to the home found David and Lissa Haynes mortally wounded. Doctors at UC San Diego Medical Center were unable to save them, Rorrison said.
Their son was armed with a handgun when he was arrested walking away from the crime scene about 7:45 a.m., police said.
After the arraignment, Gates said signs that Haynes was headed for a psychotic breakdown may have been missed by his parents.
“Parents don’t look at this in a clinical way, parents look at their children through the eyes of parents,” Gates said. “And so signs that to a clinician would be signs of danger, signs that to you and me are signs of danger, are missed by parents because they don’t look at their children that way.”