MILLBRAE — A judge has suspended criminal proceedings against a South San Francisco man accused of trying to stab a 13-year-old boy to death in front of the Millbrae Library in June.
Nelson Tolentino, 44, was slated to enter a plea Wednesday in San Mateo County Superior Court, but his court-appointed attorney, John Mays, expressed doubts about his client’s mental competency to stand trial.
Two doctors now will be appointed to assess whether Tolentino should be tried or committed to a state hospital, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. The process typically takes about six weeks.
Tolentino is charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and child abuse.
Prosecutors say Tolentino stabbed the 13-year-old boy multiple times with a 4-inch folding knife in a seemingly random attack June 9 in front of the Millbrae Library. The victim needed 200 stitches to close injuries including a severed artery in his right arm.
“He’s making progress and hopefully going to come out of it just fine,” Wagstaffe said about the teen.
Tolentino suffers from “serious mental health problems” and has been prosecuted several times in the past year for misdemeanor drug possession, prosecutors said.
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