Though it does not preclude the possibility of a trial in the future, accused and confessed Oikos University shooting suspect One Goh has once again been ruled mentally incompetent by an Alameda County judge, following an eight-day hearing that concluded Thursday. As KRON 4 reports, Judge Gloria Rhynes sounded reluctant as she delivered her ruling on the mental state of 47-year-old Goh, whom one doctor had declared competent back in July, prompting this new hearing. As she said to the assembled families of the seven victims of the 2012 attack on the Korean-American school in Oakland, "My decision doesn’t mean this trial will never occur, it just means it won’t happen yet. I’m very sorry for what brought you into this courtroom."
As part of the hearing, the judge saw a video interview with Goh recorded about 11 hours after the shooting in which he rambled to police about feeling like "a laughing stock" at the school and thought that he was viewed as "some kind of pervert who thinks about sex all the time."
He was determined by multiple doctors to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia and a "major depressive disorder," and has previously been declared mentally incompetent in a 2013 hearing, following criminal proceedings being suspended in October of 2012 due to evidence of mental illness.
As we learned at the start of this new hearing two weeks ago, both the prosecution and the defense agree that Goh has vocally sought the death penalty for himself, and is reluctant to assist his own defense because he wants to hasten his own punishment. But as KQED adds, Goh "wants to plead not guilty and go to trial, so he can outline how the school conspired against him."
CBS 5 had previously suggested that a three-year deadline was approaching to determine Goh's competency, after which he would never face trial and would be remanded to psychiatric care for the remainder of his life. But that appears to be incorrect as Judge Rhynes and Goh's own attorney, Assistant Public Defender David Klaus, expressed confidence that Goh could be returned to competency and stand trial at some point. A glance at California's criminal trial rules does not say anything about a deadline in felony cases.
He will remain in treatment at Napa State Hospital, where he has been for over three years, in preparation for an ultimate trial.
In related news, Mother Jones just published an excellent piece about the recent history of mass shootings and the threat assessment teams who analyze cases of potential mass shooters, noting that the majority of them are "young white men with acute mental health issues."
Following the shooting deaths of seven people on April 2, 2012, Goh turned himself in to police at a Safeway in Alameda and proceeded to confess to the crime. He has said various things about his motives, which have included a "religious war," suspicions of cheating among his classmates, and one school administrator's refusal to return his tuition money after he had dropped out of the school the previous semester. That administrator was originally named as his primary target on the day of the shooting, however she was no longer employed at the school.
Goh stands accused of three counts of pre-meditated attempted murder and seven counts of murder, with special circumstances. He's accused of killing six women and one man at the school: accused of killing six women and one man: Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, 38, of San Francisco; Katleen Ping, 24, of Oakland; Judith Seymour, 53, of San Jose; Lydia Sim, 21, of Hayward; Sonam Choedon, 33, of El Cerrito; Grace Eunhea Kim, 23, of Union City; and Doris Chibuko, 40, of San Leandro.