Judge finds accused bus driver incompetent to stand trial

The Associated Press
Thursday January 17, 2002

SANTA CLARA — A judge declared on Wednesday that Cathline Repunte, the San Jose school bus driver accused of killing a co-worker and injuring three others, is mentally incompetent to stand trial. 

Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Lane Liroff believes that with proper therapeutic medication in a state mental hospital Repunte will be found fit for trial within three to six months. 

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Hugh Mullin made his ruling based on the reports of two doctors. 

“(The ruling) is not a final finding,” Liroff said. “The proceedings have been suspended until her competency is restored. Properly medicated, she will be restored to competency and we will able to continue with the prosecution.” 

Last May, Repunte, 36, pleaded innocent to charges of murder and attempted murder at the Laidlaw bus yard in San Jose. The shooting took place on April 23. 

Mullin is expected to select the facility where Repunte will be relocated on Feb. 6.  

She now is being held at the Santa Clara County jail.