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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Shooting Suspect Will Be Evaluated

March 10, 1994|TRACY WILSON

A man accused of shooting and injuring a 14-year-old Ventura boy will undergo a psychological evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Municipal Court Judge Bruce A. Clark on Monday suspended a preliminary hearing to allow a psychologist time to evaluate Brian Adams, 21, of Ventura.

Defense attorney George Eskin told Clark that he has reason to doubt his client's competency, Deputy Dist. Atty. James D. Ellison said. Eskin was unable to be reached for comment.

Brian Adams, 21, is accused of forcing his way into 14-year-old Kevin Natale's Ventura Keys home in January and firing several shots from a 9-millimeter handgun before hitting Kevin in the neck. He was apparently angry because the youth hit his car with a baseball while playing catch, prosecutors said.

An examination of Adams by Dr. Bernyce Byars, a private physician, must be completed by March 28, Ellison said.

Adams has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree burglary and denied a special allegation that he used a firearm in the commission of a felony, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Adams could receive 25 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Kevin is receiving treatment at the rehabilitation center at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. The bullet that lodged in his shoulder could leave him a quadriplegic, Ellison said.

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