The man suspected of fatally shooting his longtime friend outside Hillsdale Shopping Center two years ago was denied a new court-appointed attorney in San Mateo County Superior Court on Friday.
Gregory Elarms, 59, told Judge Mark Forcum on July 10 that after his current attorney, Jonathan McDougall, said in court he planned to contest the court's finding that Elarms was for the June 9, 2010, murder of David Lewis.
Elarms had been in court that day for his arraignment on the grand jury indictment in connection with Lewis' murder.
He was previously found incompetent and was ordered to be placed in a state mental hospital in July 2011, but in May two doctors determined Elarms' , and trial proceedings resumed.
Elarms is suspected of following Lewis from the San Mateo Medical Center to Hillsdale Shopping Center and shooting him once in the stomach with a .44-caliber handgun outside his car on June 9, 2010, prosecutors said.
About six months after the crime, Elarms contacted San Mateo investigators claiming to have a tip about the unsolved case.
As he was being questioned, Elarms allegedly confessed to killing Lewis, even describing the shocked look on Lewis' face after he shot him, San Mateo police Detective Rick Decker testified at Elarms' preliminary hearing.
Elarms 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, which could make him eligible for the death penalty.
San Mateo County District Attorney Wagstaffe has said the district attorney's office does not plan to seek the death penalty in this case.
Elarms is due back in court on Aug. 20 for his competency hearing. He remains in custody in San Mateo County Jail without bail.