Posted on: November 2, 2022, 06:08h.
Last updated on: November 2, 2022, 03:29h.
Yoni Barrios, the man accused of stabbing two victims to death and injuring several others on the Las Vegas Strip last month, will undergo a mental competency exam to see if his murder trial can proceed. A judge ordered the test this week.
The test will determine if Barrios, 32, can understand the charges against him and can assist in his own defense.
Defense attorney Scott Coffee revealed that Barrios was previously treated for emotional illness in California and was prescribed psychiatric medications, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
We have an indication that he might be incompetent,” Coffee was quoted. “We are early in the process.”
He did not identify a likely diagnosis for his jailed client.
During a local court hearing on Monday, Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia transferred his case to District Court. The next court date was set for Dec. 2. Barrios was supposed to show up for the hearing, but he reportedly refused to be transported from the Clark County Detention Center to the courthouse.
Barrios is charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. He’s been held without bail since his arrest for the fatal October 6 stabbings.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty in the case.
According to police, the incident began when Barrios approached a group of women dressed as showgirls on the Strip near the Wynn Las Vegas. He asked them to pose with him in a photo. The women laughed at him, he later told police, according to an arrest report.
Barrios then allegedly stabbed Maris DiGiovanni, 30, of Las Vegas, and a passerby, Brent Allan Hallett, 46, of Canada, with a large kitchen knife. Both died. Six others were wounded in the bloody attacks.
The deadly stabbings are shown on surveillance video, according to prosecutor John Giordani, the Associated Press said.
Trump Calls Him Sadistic
News of the violent attacks has gotten national attention.
On October 8, during a well-attended rally in Minden, Nev., former President Donald Trump called Barrios a “sadistic murderer” who went on a “heinous stabbing spree.”
The perpetrator was an illegal alien with a criminal record a mile long in California,” Trump added. “But the bloodthirsty killer was unknown to law enforcement because of California’s barbaric sanctuary city policies.”
In 2019, Barrios was charged with domestic violence. But the office of Los Angeles County former District Attorney Jackie Lacey failed to bring the case to court within the required 90 days. That led a California judge to dismiss the case, the Daily Mail said.
If Barrios had been convicted in that case, he might have been deported.
Online fundraisers are underway for several of the stabbing victims and their relatives following the attacks on the Strip.
Allegedly Worked as Stripper
The New York Post recently reported that Barrios formerly worked as a stripper in bars, a one-time friend told the newspaper.
Barrios also frequented Drai’s nightclub in Las Vegas, the Post revealed. Online photos showed him wearing diamond rings and expensive watches, the report added. He also was photographed wearing stylish outfits.
Eventually, his finances ran out and he reportedly became homeless.