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The State | IN BRIEF / FRESNO

Bus Crash Suspect's Mental Status at Issue

November 09, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Two psychologists have been appointed to examine a man accused of stabbing a Greyhound bus driver and causing a crash that killed two passengers, authorities said.

A Fresno County judge has suspended criminal proceedings against Arturo Tapia Martinez until his mental competency can be assessed, the county public defender's office said.

Martinez, 27, has pleaded innocent to two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He has been held at the Fresno County Jail since Sept. 30 in lieu of $3-million bail.

Witnesses said Martinez stabbed the driver in the neck with a pair of scissors, causing him to lose control of the bus headed from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The bus flipped on its side, crushing two women to death and injuring 51 other people.

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