Doctors will soon evaluate the 30-year-old accused in a cold-blooded poolhouse killing at his parents' upscale property in Hillsborough.
A judge was set to assign two physicians on Tuesday to assess Bradley Kleiman's competency to stand trial, after questions were raised about the defendant's behavior in court Friday.
Kleiman, the son of a San Mateo civil attorney, allegedly shot longtime friend Christopher Calvache, 30, twice in the head and once in the buttocks after an argument in the pool house, authorities said. The friends were home alone at the sprawling De Sabla Road residence and had planned on going out for dinner, cops said.
Kleiman "called 911 and reported that he accidentally shot his friend," prosecutors in San Mateo County said. He also told cops he fired in self-defense after Calvache pulled a gun, police said.
When police arrived at the scene of the killing, they reported seeing Kleiman "carrying marijuana plants in the backyard," prosecutors said.
Kleiman has shown erratic behavior in court since being charged for the June 15 killing. He launched a tirade during his arraignment in June.
"I didn't murder anybody!" he shouted, interrupting both the judge and his own lawyer.
The defense in the case has repeatedly delayed Kleiman's plea. On Friday, prosecutors asked a San Mateo County judge to enter a not-guilty plea for him, Wagstaffe said.
However, after talking to Kleiman, the judge expressed doubts about his competency to stand trial and suspended criminal proceedings, ordering a psychiatric evaluation, Wagstaffe said.
Kleiman has a long criminal history that includes convictions for misdemeanor assault, felony drunken driving and evading police. He has spent at least two years in prison during the last decade, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
He does have "some mental health history," Wagstaffe said.
Prosecutors considered the judge's move a positive step since it means the defense won't be able to delay the case until next year. The defense was going to bring up Kleiman's possible mental issues anyway, Wagstaffe said.
"This was inevitable," he said. "Instead of waiting for six months, we're going to get it now."
Calvache's death was the first murder in Hillsborough since 2004.
Calvache's mother said before her son's death he had overcome a spinal injury that paralyzed him from the neck down. The injury happened five years ago while swinging from a rope at the Feather River near Oroville, she said. He overcame his injury and was able to walk with a cane, she said.
Bay City News and Associated Press contributed to this report.