As we learned in October, three and a half years on since the mass shooing at Oakland's Oikos University that claimed seven lives, confessed shooter One Goh might finally be ready to face trial. As Bay City News reports, according to both prosecutors and defense attorneys at preliminary hearing Wednesday, Goh is seeking the death penalty for himself. He still may not be, however, mentally competent to stand trial.
Public defender Patrick Jensen is still arguing that Goh, now 46, suffers from severe delusions and may not understand the criminal proceedings against him. Jensen calls a report by one doctor in July stating that Goh was now competent, following involuntary treatment of Goh with psychotropic medication since February, an "outlier."
There will now be yet another two-week hearing to assess Goh's mental health. Goh was last declared incompetent in September 2014, and this time, as CBS 5 reports, a three-year deadline to determine competency will pass, and Goh will then be committed for life to a psychiatric treatment facility.
One psychiatrist who has met with Goh multiple times and is a witness for the defense says that Goh believes he was engaged in a "religious war," and saw an "evil man in the mirror." He also had paranoid beliefs about Oikos University administrators, believing that they were surveilling him where he lived in his father's house, forcing him to move out and become homeless.
It was ultimately a disagreement with one administrator who was not even on campus the day of the shooting (and who was actually no longer employed there) over non-refunded tuition that allegedly prompted Goh to wage war at the Korean Christian campus in April 2012, killing six students and one other administrator.
Prosecutors argue that Goh's guilt and shame in the matter, and the shame he's put his family through, are driving him to seek the death penalty, and not to cooperate in his defense.
Said Deputy District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew, "The defendant’s desire for the death penalty does not equal incompetence. He doesn’t want to assist counsel because this counsel is standing in the way of the ultimate punishment."
Back in 2013, a New York Times reporter attempted to connect the shooting with the cultural idea of "Korean rage," and spoke to a seemingly lucid Goh, who was at that point still in county lock-up. "I do not have the skills to deal with other people. I cannot do things that other people do,” Goh said, after describing how he called his father immediately after the shooting, and his father told him to turn himself in to police. "My entire life, I cannot do things other people do. Like lying."
Goh also, at that point, expressed remorse, saying, "Let me assure you, whatever the situation I was in, I always tried to find the better way. But not that time. Not that time. I was trapped. I very much regret what happened. I wish it hadn’t happened that way. I’m really sorry to society, Korean society and the families of the victims."
A ruling as to Goh's competency is expected by December 15.