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New: Judge Orders Competency Report for Berkeley Murder Suspect

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday February 24, 2012 - 11:44:00 PM

Criminal proceedings against an Alameda man who's accused of murdering a homeowner in the Berkeley hills have been suspended so that a report on his mental competency can be conducted, prosecutors said today. 

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Sandra Bean granted the delay on Thursday at the request of Assistant Public Defender Brian Bloom, the lawyer for 23-year-old Daniel Jordan Dewitt. Bloom wants Dewitt to be examined by two doctors. 

Dewitt is scheduled to return to court on March 22 for a review of the mental competency report, according to District Attorney spokeswoman Rebecca Richardson. 

Dewitt, who graduated from Alameda High School in 2007 and is the grandson of former Alameda City Councilman Al Dewitt, is accused of killing 67-year-old Peter Cukor outside Cukor's home at 2 Park Gate Road at about 9 p.m. Saturday. 

According to a probable cause statement filed in court by Berkeley police Detective David Marble, after Cukor told Dewitt to leave his property Dewitt "said he was a psychic and he was told to go through the front gate to find Zoey." 

Cukor, who owned a logistics consulting firm, walked across the street to a Berkeley fire station to see if firefighters could help him deal with Dewitt but no one was there because firefighters were out on a call. 

Marble said Dewitt then killed Cukor with a flower pot when Cukor returned to his home. 

Dewitt was arrested nearby and "admitted that he was looking for his fiancee Zoey," Marble wrote. 

But Dewitt's father, Al Dewitt Jr., said after Dewitt was arraigned on Wednesday that his son doesn't have a girlfriend named "Zoey" and that Zoey is only a figment of his imagination. 

"Zoey is a fictitious girlfriend that he's had for about a year now," Dewitt said. 

Al Dewitt Jr. and his wife, Candy Dewitt, have both said that they had been trying to get their son into a permanent treatment facility but court officials denied their requests. 

Daniel Dewitt has been charged in two other incidents. 

Richardson said Daniel Dewitt was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of making annoying phone calls in 2010 to a woman who was a former classmate and he has a pending misdemeanor battery case for allegedly punching and kicking a nurse at the John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro in 2010.