Competency Hearing Wednesday for Man Accused in Hillsdale Mall Murder

The hearing will determine if the defendant is now mentally fit to stand trial for the 2010 fatal shooting.

A competency hearing for a man accused of killing East Palo Alto activist David Lewis at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in 2010 has been scheduled to begin Wednesday, a San Mateo County judge said Monday.

Gregory Leon Elarms, 60, returned to the county in May after he was deemed fit to stand trial on murder charges by doctors at a state mental facility in Atascadero.

Unlike past court appearances in which Elarms blurted out statements to the judge or his attorneys, this morning he sat quietly in handcuffs and red jail clothes while the proceedings were under way.

A hearing will be held before a superior court judge to certify the Atascadero doctors' reports and determine if Elarms is now mentally fit to aid in his own defense.

Elarms is suspected of following Lewis from the San Mateo Medical Center to Hillsdale Mall and shooting him once in the stomach with a .44-caliber handgun outside of his car.

Before he died later that evening, officers asked Lewis who shot him and he said "Greg," according to San Mateo police investigators.

Around six months later, a man in Pittsburg called police anonymously and told them that David Lewis' killers were threatening to kill him and that he needed police protection Police offered to pick the man up from his home and got his address, Decker said.

After running an address check, investigators learned the man at the address was Gregory Elarms.

According to police, Elarms later confessed to shooting Lewis himself because he believed Lewis had opposed him in a residential dispute. Elarms was arrested on Dec. 19, 2010.

He was charged with murder, discharging a gun in the course of murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and the special circumstance of lying in wait.

-- Bay City News


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